NEW volunteers from State Emergency Service (SES) crews around the New England and North West converged on Tamworth over the weekend for a crucial training exercise.
They completed a course that taught them skills required in missing person cases, which SES teams are often called in to assist with by NSW Police.
Ten participants from the Tamworth, Nundle and Boggabri units were assessed, and assistance was provided by members from Bingara and Kuringai.
Tamworth training coordinator Ann Bartimote said it was crucial for volunteers to be qualified in case they get the call up to help search for a missing person.
"The course is about teaching volunteers search techniques for looking for missing people or items, we run it whenever there's a need to run the course to train new members," she said.
"But we also run regular training days to keep people up to date in those skills."
Tamworth Mountain Bike Park provided the backdrop, which provided plenty of challenges for the volunteers given the rough terrain.
Ms Bartimote said it's important for new members to understand the difficulties they may face, and be able to overcome them in order to, in some cases, save people's lives.
"It's vital because if somebody does go missing then you want them found as quickly as possible, you're talking about people's safety," she said.
"So having the skills and having the knowledge of how to search, what is expected, what they're going to face and what sort of conditions they might experience on some of these searches is quite important."
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