Fast reaction and self-sufficient deployment in remote terrain

The tracking team can provide a fast reaction, flexible, enhancement capability to current search and rescue (SAR) activations.  The team is capable of self-sufficient deployment into extreme remote terrain, day and night, in all weather, for indefinite periods.  The team is constantly prepared for 0-72hr unsupported periods.


Tracking team

The tracking team has an enhanced evidence gathering capability that follows set methods and procedures. It is in no way spiritual or follows assumptions.  All evidence is communicated, diarised, factual, measured, recorded, given a location/date/time stamp and collected if required. Any information discussed is clearly labelled as confirmed, substantive, or assumed. 

Assumed information will only be discussed if asked for, and is not used in guiding the trackers activities unless requested by authorised personnel.

Pursuit style tracking

Pursuit style tracking is best attempted as soon as possible before evidence is compromised.  However even if a direction of travel cannot be established, the capability of this team allows it to be utilised in many other search and rescue (SAR) functions.

Uses for the team are limited only by the site directors imagination, and the teams risk assessment of the request. 

The parameters that the team can operate in are, but not limited to;

  • Multiday unsupported operations in extreme, remote areas. Ready reaction for 72-96hrs
  • Decent and ascent of cliffs or inaccessible locations
  • Static observation points
  • Establishment of remote communications repeaters or retrans stations
  • Advanced navigation and bushcraft skills
  • Laying of track traps in order to detect the movement of persons in an area
  • Direct pursuit tracking of MP
  • Elimination of ground
  • Establishing boundaries by investigating features and track traps
  • Safe guided insertion and extraction of teams into difficult terrain
  • suggestions on methods of eliminating areas of interest
  • SAR HQ navigation advisor


The group is in its infancy and therefore our immediate capabilities are not as comprehensive as they will be in the future.  The following is a list of current parameters


The most limiting factor in using this team is availability.  While the team is willing to attend to every emergency, we are restricted in that we are a volunteer group made up of people with work and family commitments.   Therefore the team will only activate if it can get two or more members on site.

Scope of work

The team is only able to attend search and rescue (SAR) operations and natural disasters at this stage. 

Area of deployment

Currently the team has no financial capability to operate further than a 2hr drive from Mackay or the Sunshine Coast.  If funded transport could be arranged, then the team could work outside of the Mackay or Sunshine Coast regions depending on availability of members.


QRAT has the ability to assist the lost persons and the victims of natural disaster by providing emergency communications whenever and wherever needed.

QRAT recently provided the only communications for rural fires during the first three days of the Finch Hatton and Eungella fires ensuring the safety of firefighters and the victims of natural disaster.



In order to activate the group, the Search and Rescue (SAR) coordinators should ring either of the two numbers below.  From there we will check availability, and report back as to the teams’ ability to activate. 

Nathan Gelhaar

Mobile: 0448208720

Home: (07) 49585461



Emitt Brown

Mobile: 0429997411

Home: (07) 49585403


Stand down

The team will consider its role in a particular activation terminated when its service is no longer needed, the task is deemed outside our capability, or if the team’s personal commitments result in the minimum group size being compromised.


The service provided is voluntary.  However if travel, meals, or donations can be covered by an entity, the team could extend its availability.  All gear and consumables required to complete these tasks is supplied by the individual within the group at this time.  Funding at this time is not required as the members are fulfilling their sense of community duty, however any help is welcome.


The group have the following communication devices

  • Mobile phones
  • Communication system with own frequency and repeaters
  • GPS
  • Signal panels
  • IR and white light strobes
  • Other redundancy tools


Members are qualified in

  • Communications
  • Navigation
  • Vertical mobility/rescue
  • Advanced tracking
  • First aid and advanced first aid
  • Briefings and debriefings
  • SES doctrines


The team is made up of members who between them have 48 years experience in activations with rural fires and State Emergency Service (SES). Members also have experience as infantrymen, security managers, advanced first aiders, and farmers. All members are currently working professionals.


All members are middle aged, physically fit and healthy professionals that are well versed in WH&S.  Two safety officers and a WH&S diploma holder, all with 70 cumulative years between them make up the team.  Risk assessments are conducted continuously and collaboratively to ensure that risks are kept to an acceptable minimum.


The team is able to meet with interested parties via any means to discuss the best use of our capability.  We can also attend your area, via appointment, to demonstrate our skills and receive your feedback on application or enhancement of said skills.