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Last modified: 24 Jan 2022 3:29pm

A group of people in orange high-viz vests and orange hard hat helmets stand in a circle in the dark talking next to a van with a yellow and red emergency stripe down the side

A chance to make a difference to people’s lives during emergencies is being offered by the Selwyn Response Team.

The team, which responds on the front-line to Civil Defence emergencies, is recruiting for new members and will be holding an
information evening from 7.30pm on Wednesday 9 February at the Rolleston Council Offices.

Team member Robert Love says members will talk about how they respond to Civil Defence emergencies such as earthquakes, fires and floods and what’s involved in being a member.

“There’s a role for people from all walks of life to be doing. We’re not asking for superhero stuff. Everyone brings their own unique skill set and it’s great to have a range of experience. The team is very keen to expand its diversity of responder to reflect the local Selwyn community.”

It is part of the Council's Civil Defence Emergency Management structure and members are trained to a national standard in
light urban search and rescue, flood response, storm response, communications, and other specialist tasks.

The team responded to floods in Selwyn and Buller in May and July last year, helping with evacuations, welfare checks and building assessments. It has also responded to the 2019 Nelson fires, the Christchurch mosque shootings and during the 2020 COVID-19 Level 4 lockdown helping people without places to stay, those living in campgrounds, foodbanks and the wider community.

“It’s a great role for helping in the community, challenging yourself and being part of a team that’s pretty driven to provide for the
community and learn new skills,” Robert says.