VRA Rescue / History


The first VRA specialist squad, the Bushwalkers Wilderness Rescue (now known as Bush Search and Rescue NSW), was formed in the mid 1930’s. The first VRA
General Land Rescue Squad was formed in 1950 to assist Police with recovery of persons from the Murrumbidgee River, to provide flood rescue, evacuations and ferrying of food and medicines between isolated communities around Wagga Wagga in southern NSW.  Soon after the Wagga Wagga Rescue Squad became involved in general land rescue. In 1960 the Bourke Rescue Squad was formed followed in 1962 by the Dubbo Rescue Squad. In 1969, at the suggestion of the State Police Commissioner several volunteer rescue squads (Albury, Dubbo, Narrandera and Wagga Wagga) met and formed the Volunteer Rescue Association. VRA Rescue Squads continued to be established where a need existed and the Police, Ambulance, Fire Brigade and local community supported the establishment of a volunteer rescue squad.
Today, there are currently over 50 squads providing a mixture of primary rescue and support services to the communities of NSW. More information about the individual squads is available on this page.
Through task related standardisation of equipment, communications, training and command structure, VRA Squads are readily combined to form larger units during major incidents.