VRA Rescue / Commissioner’s Message

Commissioner’s Message

The New South Wales Volunteer Rescue Association (NSW VRA) was formed in 1969. We currently have approximately 1,900 members.

From the original 4 squads in 1969 our organisation now consists of:

  • 42 General Land Rescue Squads
  • 3 Specialist Squads including Alpine Rescue, Cave Rescue, and Bush Search and Rescue
  • 13 Support Squads including Communications, Grief and Loss Support, Aerial Patrols, and First Aid.

In the reporting period 1st July 2015 to 30th June 2016 the NSW VRA attended:

  • 7,499 incidents which involved 76,932 operational hours
  • Assisted 6,588 persons
  • Extrications 274 persons
  • Removed 88 deceased persons

Over & above this our members spent 107,534 hours in training, meetings, regional exercises, fundraising & equipment maintenance.

The NSW VRA will respond to any of the following incidents: Motor Vehicle; Domestic; Industrial; Inland water; Cave rescue; Cliff/vertical rescue; Emergency Lighting; Traffic Control; Body Recoveries; Animal rescues; Driver Reviver; Alpine/Snow; Photographic & other incidents that occur from time to time. We also assist the other NSW Emergency Services like NSW Rural Fire Service; NSW State Emergency Service; NSW Police Service; NSW Ambulance Service. Fire & Rescue NSW.

The NSW VRA can be called out by any person in NSW but our primary call out source is the NSW Police Service.

In September 2011 we commenced our own call centre, on a contract basis at Gonnellabah near Lismore in NSW. This call centre is the major communication link between the Emergency Services & all our VRA squads.

It would not be possible to have such a professional Volunteer organisation that is held in very high regard & respect, without the help & financial assistance from the NSW Government. This has been ongoing since 1969 when the association was formed. The NSW Volunteer Rescue Association provide support to the population of NSW twenty four hours per day, seven days per week.

As with other Emergency Services in NSW we rely on the help & support of many business, local & corporate, too many to be mentioned, but their support is indicative to the community they live in and in most cases without this support, our squads may not exist.

The other common denominator to our very successful Rescue Squads is the Volunteers. The NSW VRA is on its own when we say our organisation is run with volunteers. We, like our other emergency services rely on these Volunteers to run & work in our squads and we can never have enough. If you feel as though you may like to become a member or operator in one of our squads, please contact our General Enquiries Line on 1300 872 777 in the first instance, with your details and your information will be passed onto the NSW VRA squad closest to your residence.

Keep safe

Mark Gibson