SES Volunteers Association of Western Australia Incorporated

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08/05/2015 – Goldfields Challenge 2015

The Goldfields SES Challenge was developed to replace a regional training weekend with each scenario conducted in a simulated operational environment.  The Goldfields SES Challenge continues to be one of the best training weekends in WA by exposing SES personnel to a range of disciplines in one weekend.  The continued support we receive from the metro units is greatly appreciated and as we head towards our 12th Goldfields Challenge, Kalgoorlie-Boulder SES prides itself on hosting the Challenge each year with approximately 100 personnel participating in the 2 day event.  The planning and logistics requires months of organising with the committee starting in October for next year’s event.

The Goldfields provides a unique environment for the Challenge to be held in with various bush sites from Lake Douglas 12km from Kalgoorlie through to Karalee Rocks 207km to the West of Kalgoorlie which allows 10-12 scenarios to be completed.  Kalgoorlie-Boulder SES starts setting up Challenge Base and the stand sites the week before the event.

A team of 5-7 personnel is given a SMEAC and required to complete as much of the task as possible in the allotted time.  The scenarios are all assessed by qualified instructors who score each team out of 100 based on knowledge, technique and skills used as well as team work and team leadership.  From the most complex tasks of rope rescue through to knots and communications the Challenge has something for everyone. It is great way to refresh and maintain skills for the most experienced whilst also providing new members the opportunity to broaden their understanding, knowledge and skills in each discipline.  We have SES members who have attended the event for a number of years and each year they get something different, while first time participants say they will be back the next year!  As a SES member progresses through their own unit they may change roles from being a team member, progressing though to a team leader for a few years and then attending as an assessor or other staff in later years.

The scenarios cover a range of first aid, communication systems, storm damage, land search, cliff rescue, chainsaw operation, 4WD technique and recovery, camp duties, navigate urban and rural environments and have also included at times road crash rescue which does not form part of most unit’s profiles.
A number of the Kalgoorlie-Boulder members participated in a rogaine event in Perth and brought the idea back to include in the Challenge.  A rogaine was included into the schedule and was enjoyed by all at last year’s event and looks like becoming a regular scenario.
David Price from Rockingham-Kwinana has been attending the Challenge for a number of years and has seen the event grow and develop into an event that other regions are now modelling their Regional events on.

“Rockingham uses the Challenge to develop new teams leaders and team members as the event is run under simulated operational demands” says David Price.  He also said “I like the comradery and the friendly competition from other units”  A good news story from previous Challenge events is the team from Mundaring.  The same SES members participated each year and showed great improvement coming from last place the first time they attended to gaining 2nd place a few years later.  It is a great way to measure not only personal improvement but team achievement as well.

See you at Lake Douglas on 31 May to 2 June 2015!

Everything you need to know about the Goldfields Challenge is included in the handbook ==>Information Handbook 2015.pdf


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