Archive for the ‘Archived Stories’ Category

CREST sizzles hot at the WICEN BBQ

Saturday, May 12th, 2012

On Sunday 29 April, members from Sydney, Singleton, Prospect and Central Coast attended a BBQ and get together organised by WICEN NSW at the Amateur Radio NSW (ARNSW) site in Dural.

WICEN like CREST is a specialist squad of the Volunteer Rescue Association (VRA) and has a team of experienced amateur radio operators that volunteer their time to provide field communications.

WICEN put together an enjoyable information and education session which included information about up-coming communications events and some hands on technical demonstrations. These provided a great opportunity for members from both organisations to share their experiences of setting up communications networks.

One of the CREST field stations

Those attending were invited to show off their field communications stations. The Sydney CREST team set up a UHF repeater and portable mast and the team from Singleton / Central Coast demonstrated a VHF repeater with a crossband linked remote station with a standalone and vehicle mounted masts.

A detailed review of the other stations on display can be found on the WICEN page here.

Evan Longworth recognised for his contribution to the Newcastle and Hunter Region

Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

On 29 November 2011, Mr Evan Longworth was awarded a service award by the Newcastle City Council for his outstanding contribution to emergency services and community organisations servicing the Hunter region. Evan has been a member of CREST NSW for some 30 years, has worked as the Newcastle Operations Director and is currently the NSW State Director.

The Newcastle CREST team with Mr Longworth

Mr Evan Longworth

The Newcastle Community Awards recognise outstanding effort and achievement by Newcastle individuals or community groups.

The City of Newcastle Service Award is awarded to individuals, organisations or groups for service to a specific field of activity. Community Awards show appreciation for the service, commitment, effort and achievements that make a difference to the lives of people in Newcastle.

Evan was joined by members of the Newcastle CREST team at a function to celebrate this achievement.

Newcastle Mayor John Tate presented Mr Longworth with the Service Award

Photographs courtesy Photolook Newcastle

CREST NSW celebrates 35 years

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

Last night, CREST members past and present gathered with special guests at the Newcastle Diggers Club function rooms to celebrate 35 years of CREST NSW.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Cr John Tate opened the event by extending a welcome to all the visitors to the Newcastle area and told the audience of Newcastle council’s high regard of CREST and its value to the community.

Newcastle Mayor John Tate opens the CREST 35 year anniversary dinner

He reminded the audience of CREST’s work during the east coast storms that hit Newcastle in June 2007 which were best known for the grounding of the Pasha Bulker bulk carrier on Nobbys beach.

Some of the audience at the CREST 35 year anniversary

Senior Constable Tony Tamplin of the Newcastle Police Media Relations was the MC for the night. He told a very humorous story of his memories of drive-in theatres which unfortunately cannot be published here.

Cr Peter Blackmore, Mayor of Maitland City Council told of his memories of the early days of CB radio. Cr Blackmore was a member of CREST for a short time after being quite active in the CB radio scene.

Cr Peter Blackmore Mayor of Maitland NSW

MC for the night - Senior Constable Tony Tamplin

Russell Ashdown, Commissioner, NSW Volunteer Rescue Association and Audrey Koosemen, President of the Native Animal Trust Fund spoke of the work of CREST NSW and their active relationship with the organisation.

Russell Ashdown, Commissioner, NSW Volunteer Rescue Association

Audrey Koosemen, President of the Native Animal Trust Fund

Mike Hallinan, Former NSW State Director spoke of the early days of CREST NSW and Mr Greg Ackman of Mobile One Communications Systems and Patron of CREST NSW Inc helped out with fund raising by  drawing the raffle. There were a massive number of prizes donated by local and state wide businesses on offer.

Hot team at Glenrock

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

Last weekend CREST members from Newcastle, Central Coast and Sydney provided safety communications for the Kathmandu Adventure Series event at Glenrock State Conservation Reserve near Newcastle NSW.

CREST team configuring a portable repeater

The weekend consisted of two separate identical events on each day. In parallel with the first day, CREST undertook a training exercise. The exercise focussed on the installation of a field communications network. CREST members set up a VHF repeater and VHF / UHF crossband system to cover the course.

During record high temperatures the team assisted by arranging two ambulances to transport patients attended to by the on-site paramedics.

New CREST webpage goes live

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

After many tireless hours from CREST’s webpage team, the new webpage went live today.

We have moved to a new open source content management system called WordPress which should prove easier for the entire CREST team to add their own stories.

The webpage team designed their own WordPress template for the CREST site.

If you have any feedback, please drop us a line via the contact page.

CREST members find themselves

Sunday, January 9th, 2011
Sunday, 15 November 2009
CREST members from across NSW attended a training day held in conjunction with a State Council meeting in Northern Sydney. The training session focussed on mapping and navigation and forms an important component of the CREST Level 1 training qualification.
A presentation covered different map types, the features of a topographic map, coordinate systems, measuring distances and bearings. The teams used mapping tools, different types of compasses and GPS receivers. A desktop exercise was held where various coordinates were identified and measurements were made. A quick demonstration of radio repeater site planning was covered. 

The day concluded with a outdoor navigation activity.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 15 November 2009 )

CREST scores a trifecta for charity

Sunday, January 9th, 2011
Monday, 26 October 2009
Over the weekends of 17 / 18 and 24 / 25 of October 2009, CREST provided communications, marshalling and traffic control at 3 events for charity.

CREST assisted the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) in the annual walk on 18 October, this year held at Parramatta Park in Sydney. The team provided traffic control at the park’s entrances and guided the walkers around the course. The walk is a lap of the park that weaved its way past games of cricket, kids playgrounds and the historical Government House. At the time of publishing, donations are still possible via their website at

It was then off to Lake Macquarie on Saturday 24 October where the multisport organisation Max Adventure provided the Great Adventure Challenge for the Starlight foundation. Corporate teams of 4 competed a course from Wangi Wangi to the Watagans and back consisting of kayak, mountain bike and rogaine (running) legs. Teams could swap members from a pool of 8 to complete the course and all had support crews to keep them sustained for the event. CREST operated a safety radiocommunications network between each of the transition areas and also provided timing information back to the start / finish line. Last year’s event raised over $50,000 and organisers are hoping that this year’s total will be a new record.

It was a sea of pink on the Newcastle foreshore the following day where 18 CREST members assisted the Avon Race for Research a fundraiser for the Breast Cancer Institute of Australia. 3100 people entered the 5km walk or run along Newcastle’s beaches. CREST provided traffic control, marshalling and safety communications over the course.

CREST’s State Operations Director Des Cottle said “The events are part of our regular yearly programme of events. They allow us to self-train our teams in preparation for times of disaster but also we enjoy supporting other organisations to raise funds for their very valuable work”


Last Updated ( Sunday, 15 November 2009 )

Four Wheel Drive Rescue Call

Sunday, January 9th, 2011
Sunday, 30 August 2009

17 January 2009: Newcastle CREST received a call via the channel 5 / 35 UHF CB Emergency repeater following a four wheel driving incident at Stockton Beach.

A member of the public called for help after coming across a 1974 soft-top Land Rover that had rolled and one of its occupants required urgent help. Newcastle CREST’s Tristan Blackburn took the call and relayed the details to the emergency services. NSW Ambulance, the Westpac Rescue Helicopter, Police Rescue & SES responded to free the occupant.

Media reports indicated that the Land Rover was on the top of a sand dune when the driver’s side wheels went off the edge and caused the car to roll. The 23 year old female passenger was believed to have been thrown from the vehicle before it rolled onto her. The woman was transferred to hospital in critical condition.

Mr Blackburn said “Our UHF repeater gives good coverage of the Stockton Beach area. We have received a number of calls from that area because most four wheel drivers have a UHF radio and call us when they don’t have phone coverage.”

Newcastle CREST monitors the 5 / 35 Emergency repeater located at Charlestown NSW. CREST volunteers keep a “listening watch”for calls of assistance from members of the public with a UHF CB radio.

CREST celebrates 10 years of assistance to the Oxfam Trailwalker

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

Sunday, 30 August 2009

On Friday 28 August 2009 the annual Oxfam Trailwalker commenced in Sydney’s north. The fundraiser held by the charity Oxfam is an event where teams of 4 people walk or run over a 100 km trail through Sydney’s northern bushland and National Parks.

Sydney CREST has provided communications support for the last 10 of the 11 years that the event has been held. A network of fixed and portable radio repeaters are set-up and are linked together to provide safety communications to each of the checkpoints along the course.

This year 500 teams (that’s 2,000 individual participants) commenced the walk of 100km principally on the Great North Walk from Brooklyn on the Hawkesbury River to Georges Heights near Middle Head on Sydney Harbour. Each year, teams have 48 hours to complete the course however the fastest teams typically complete the course in under 14 hours.

Teams are required to raise a minimum of $1000 each. In 2008, over 2 million dollars was raised for Oxfam. These funds support Oxfam’s work in 26 countries including indigenous communities in Australia.

The event is a multi-squad Volunteer Rescue Association (VRA) event. VRA Bushwalkers Wilderness Rescue also assists Oxfam with the event by “extracting” injured walkers from the trail, providing operational logistics in the control centre and sweeping some trail sections to ensure that all walkers are through. CREST has been assisted by other VRA squads including the NSW Cave Rescue Squad and Wicen. Members of the Manly Warringah Amateur Radio club also provide operators to man the CREST control station.