We operate and assist within the boundaries of the Western Cape province and have two main response units in the Peninsula & Winelands, as well as units in the Overberg and Southern Cape (George).
The Off-Road Rescue Unit (ORRU) persons need not be all members of any 4×4 club but are volunteers who utilize their own time and equipment to assist in the event of disaster or search and rescue. We do not normally volunteer for sport and related events. Such events are rather serviced by the 4WDCSA, LCCSA, LRSA or Hamnet.
We have built up an outstanding track record over the years and have played a vital role in saving lives. The unit was not active for some years but it was re-activated some 18 months ago. Our objective is to assist when and where possible and the prime objective is to provide efficient, logistical support either by means of off road transport or communications in wilderness search & rescue operations.
We must be able and trained to transport personnel and equipment in most weather conditions and over difficult terrain. We prefer all vehicles to be equipped with VHF radios (but can also accommodate 29 Mhz radios). With our radios we are able to assist with the relaying of radio communications in difficult areas and between different organisations on land, sea and air.
The bottom line means that the casualty must receive the best treatment and attention possible. ORRU within WSAR works closely with organisations like The Mountain Club of South Africa, National Sea Rescue, Metro rescue services, The South African Air Force as well as the South African Police services. WSAR is on standby 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can be called upon by means of a bulk SMS, E-mail or cell phone. Representatives of ORRU take turns to be on standby and in the case of a call out, the person on standby sends out a bulk SMS message to all listed ORRU members. If you are able to respond, you phone the contact or duty person and receive further information from him.
We do not expect of members of ORRU to have duty stints or to do a minimum number of operations per year. It is obvious that the more you do, the more proficient you become.
Regular training takes place with other role players such as NSRI, MCSA, METRO etc. The unit also likes to work closely with Nature Conservation and to assist them when necessary.
Although all this sounds very daunting, it is just another way to enjoy your vehicle and the outdoors, and in the process do something for your fellow citizen.