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Avalanche transceiver searches

Avalanche transceivers (also known as avalanche beacons) can be used to locate someone who is buried in the snow. Time is of the essence when locating and rescuing someone buried by avalanche.
The basic message is that to survive an avalanche you have to be rescued within 15 minutes. As rescue services will usually take at least half an hour to arrive on the scene this means the people you are travelling with are the ones who will rescue you.
Your life depends on carrying and being proficient in the use of avalanche transceivers and having snow probes and shovels. In ideal conditions it will take around 5 minutes to locate a victim with a transceiver and 10 to 15 minutes to dig them out from the average depth of burial which is 1 meter.
Digging out an avalanche victim during training

BSAR Steep Snow and Ice Training 2013 at Mount Buller

The 2013 steep snow and ice rescue training was conducted over two weekends, the first day on Sunday 18 August was a Dryland session at the Police SAR Williamstown compound. The second day, at Mount Buller on was Sunday 1 September, was on the snow training specific for Steep Snow and Ice (SSI) skills. 
Note: Steep Snow and Ice rescue skills are not required for bush and normal Winter searches.

BSAR softshell jackets

BSAR hi-vis softshell jackets were first issued to members in 2013.  They complement the BSAR hi-vis safety shirt, beanie and cap.

BSAR Softshell BSAR Softshell jacket

These jackets were provided through the funding support of the JJ Gardiner Trust, via the Alpine Search and Rescue Victoria club, the Victorian Department of Justice, and Bushwalking Victoria.  BSAR is very grateful for the generous support that enabled its members to be so equipped.

Improvised body harness

An improvised harness can be made from two slings to secure someone if necessary during a rescue.
  • Sling for leg seat harness: 4m  to 4.3m
  • Sling for chest harness 2.5m to 2.8m
The following pictures illustrate the sequence to make the improvised harness.

Setting up a Z pulley for stretcher hauling rescue

  • This equipment is used for stretcher hauling on steep snow and ice terrain
  • These instructions are indicative and may be varied in the field
  • Escort attached to the Safety line is NOT illustrated
  • All ropes are static ropes (e.g. Blue Water 11m)
  • Z pulley setup for rescues will be supervised and checked by Police Officer in Charge




Presentation to Army Reserve training day

Bush Search and Rescue was asked to present at a land search and rescue training activity for the Reserve Response Force (RRF) at Simpson Barracks in Watsonia on Saturday 1 June 2013.  The RRF is the Force Element that has been the basis of the Austalian Defence Force's response to fires and floods in recent years.

BSAR presenation to Army Reserve Response Force

Winter search training weekend Lake Mountain July 2013

We had appropriate winter weather conditions for Bush Search and Rescue's main weekend training event for 2013.    

This training was open to all current BSAR members, prospective members and experienced bushwalkers who are considering membership of BSAR and who meet or who are close to meeting the requirements for BSAR membership.  

A pre-training evening for new and potential members was held on Monday 15 July in Melbourne to provide background information and an opportunity for participants to ask questions. 

Behind the Log BSAR newletter May 2013 edition out now

The May 2013 edition of Behind The Log, Bush Search and Rescue's regular newsletter, is now published and can be downloaded from [here] (pdf). 

Articles include:
  • The Beginning of the Police Search and Rescue Squad - a BSAR Perspective
  • Wellington Plains search update
  • Bush Search and Rescue training calendar for 2013
  • Bush Search and Rescue Annual Report for 2012-13


BSAR safety shirts, caps and beanies

BSAR Safety Shirt

Bush Search and Rescue members are being provided with safety shirts for use on searches.  

These shirts are highly visible and stay warm if they get wet.

We are also providing high vis caps and fleece beanies.  
The items have been purchased with a grant from the Department of Justice Victoria and some additional funds from Bushwalking Victoria.

BSAR call-out to Snowy River National Park for search for missing woman

Sunday 07 Apr 2013.  Bush Search and Rescue was called out for a 3pm departure from Melbourne.   The call-out was cancelled when the missing person was located by Police Airwing helicopter and winched out from the banks of the Snowy River in East Gippsland.

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