Alpine Search and Rescue

NSW SES assists the Police in searching for lost or injured persons in the NSW alps. 

The alpine area of NSW is a popular location for many sports and activities, particularly during the winter months. Sometimes people undertake activities that can get themselves into trouble and require the assistance of emergency services to rescue them due to becoming lost or are injured. 

Weather in the alps can rapidly change from bright sunshine to a raging blizzard with freezing temperatures, gale force winds and heavy snow within a few hours. It is therefore important that in an emergency, people are reached as quickly as possible.

The NSW SES Snowy River Unit (based at Jindabyne) and the NSW SES Tumut Unit both assist the Police if requested in searches for lost persons in the Alps. To assist the volunteers to reach isolated areas quickly, both units have several snowmobiles as well as using snow shoes and skis to reach remote locations. Volunteers undertaking this role must live in the general area of the Snowy Mountains.

Apply for this role

Volunteering type

Assist the NSW Police with searches for missing persons in alpine areas of NSW SES.

Fitness Requirements

High level of fitness is required. An arduous fitness assessment is required prior to acceptance into the training program. Training involves challenging hiking and overnight camping in remote areas, possibly during inclement weather.

Time Requirements

Initial training requires regular attendance at the weekly Unit training night for 3-5 months, followed by ongoing training and professional development. After initial training, you will be placed on call and attendance will vary depending on rescue requirements.

Skills requirements

The following training pathway is required:

  • Fundamentals & generic skills
  • Land Search Operations
  • Participate in a Rescue Operation
  • Map and Navigation
  • Alpine Search and Survival

Unit locations with this capability

Available at:

  • Queanbeyan
  • Tumut
  • Khancoban
  • Snowy River
  • Cooma
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