Rats.co.nzSpecialist First Response Team to the Canterbury Region

RAT Profiles

The RATS team currently has 21 operational members. If you want to join the team contact us here

james
james

James Thompson:- Team Manager / Instructor

James began volunteering in the Hillmorton Suburban rescue team some time in the mid 1990's. In 2001 he joined the RATS team, (acquired from his initial team).  One of the main general rescue and high angle rope rescue trainers for Canterbury CD at the time. Became the Team leader in 2004. James also volunteers in the Canterbury based USAR Taskforce 2 as a USAR Technician. For a paid job James is the Training Coordinator for the Canterbury Civil Defence Emergency Management Group. James has also been heavily involved in Height Safety and Confined Space Entry training in industry. James's interests, other than rope rescue, includes his family and SCUBA diving.
Oh, and don't ask him to do anything too early in the morning! 

Geoff
Geoff

Geoff Coxhead:- Team Leader / Instructor

Geoff would have written his own profile if he knew how to work a computer but being a senior network enginner for Gen-I this task was a little beyond him :-) 
DO NOT FEED GEOFF SUGAR - you have been warned...

Ian
Ian
Ian Ross - Deputy Team Leader / Medical Coordinator

Since joining the RATS Ian has adapated some of his rock climbing techniques to the high angle environment.  By day Ian is a computer programmer so like Geoff was unable to write his own profile! 
Sharon
Sharon

Sharon Ross - 'Voice' of the Team

Sharon spends the day looking after young children so finds the transition to RATS training relatively easy...
Sharon has done her PHEC training with St Johns so often ends up helping with the medical side of exercises and scenarios.

Mita
Mita
Dr. Mita Brierley - Training Coordinator

Mita joined RATS in early 2005. At the time she knew absolutely nothing about Civil Defence or rescue, but luckily she's really smart and a quick learner as well as good looking. In her spare time after RATS training Mita likes to go climbing, and play web-sudoku. In 2010 Mita completed her  PhD in astronomy. If you ask her to tell your fortune, she is not above biting you like a true RAT!
J and Cairo
J and Cairo
Janelle Mackie - Dogs (Cairo) / Instructor

Janelle, or JJ has been in the RATS team since it started in 1996.  J started out doing mainly rope rescue but in recent years has been more involved with search dogs (although keeps her harness well used) getting her first search dog Kahlie 4 years ago.  She is now training Cairo who is of "mixed pedigree".  J is also pretty involved with training -  General Rescue and USAR Trainer, and the Chief Rescue Instructor for Environment Canterbury meaning she arranges the training of rescue volunteers in Christchurch. J gets in trouble with most other team members as she one of those annoying morning people....but can be subdued with coffee :-).
Linda
Linda
Linda Pike - Dogs (Que)

Linda is an original "dog bitch" (in the nicest possible way) being a dog handler in RATS since the team began in 1996.  Linda and her now retired labrador Mij were operational for many years in LandSAR and one of the first in the country to qualify for USAR.  Linda is currently training "Que" which will specilaise in USAR.  Linda is a member of TF2, and also a Land SAR and USAR Evaluator and spends many of her weekends helping others throughout the country.
Graham
Graham
Graham Joseph - Dogs (Tala) RATS Trust Treasurer.

Graham is a honorary dog bitch!  Graham was operational for Land SAR and USAR with his labrador Jesse (retired) and has just certified for USAR with his young girl Tala.  He does an awesome job as RATS Treasurer keeping the books in order and acquiring funding.  Graham is also a member of NZTF2.
Brenda Rewarding Easy
Brenda Rewarding Easy
Brenda Woolley - Dogs (Easy & Milo, Boss & Keepa)

Brenda is one of the most successful dog handlers in the country having 2 dogs dual certified for Land SAR and USAR - Easy and Milo, with Boss operational USAR.  She is also a USAR and Land SAR evaluator and a member of TF2.  Like Linda her success has meant she is often called upon from throughout the country to assist with training. 
Helen the pirate
Helen the pirate

Helen Wilton  - Training/Equipment Coordinator

Helen joined the RATS team in late 2006. A qualified physiotherapist, she long ago left this field to make her CV look more mysterious/interesting, having been a PA, nanny, tutor, librarian, base camp manager at Everest and mother of 4. All this seems to have led to a love of high places, the ability to tie knots behind her back and a good sense of humour - which is where RATS comes in. (Can be lured down from high places by coffee, chocolate or a fine single malt.)

 
Chloe at the Dams
Chloe at the Dams

Chloe Armour

Chloe joined RATS back in July 2007 alongside Bronnie, Christelle and Sara having left the motherland to move to Christchurch a year before.  Outside of RATS she likes to run, ski, climb and go on the odd tramp all this being funded by her job with the environment police.

 
Bronwyn Forrest
Bronwyn Forrest

Bronwyn Forrest - Section Leader

Bronwyn joined RATS in mid 2007 because she loves fancy dress parties and thought that hanging around on the sides of buildings might be fun. During her limited time with RATS she has so far discovered that she doesn't enjoy sand bagging very much but does like playing with TF-2's jack hammer.

In her spare time Bronwyn enjoys tramping, messing around on glaciers, watching movies and eating pancakes.

 
Christelle Head
Christelle Head

Christelle Head - Medical Coordinator

Likes black

 
James McNeil
James McNeil

James McNeil

James joined the RATS in March 2010, while looking for something more interesting and challenging than designing web databases.

 

He was lucky enough to be voted in as a full RATS member just prior to the Christchurch 2010 earthquake; this let him scuttle over Christchurch roofs playing with ropes and bricks for ten days. He hopes it was meant to be that much fun. 

 

James has a policy of committing to things prior to knowing what's going on... so lots of finer points are learned while dangling from ropes.

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Updated Wednesday, 22 December 2010