The Bushwalkers Wilderness Rescue Squad will now be known as Bush Search and Rescue (BSAR) NSW.

In a media release announcing the change, the organisation said the change has been made to reflect the skills, experience and resources available within the specialist wing of the Volunteer Rescue Association.

President of BSAR, Keith Maxwell explained that the previous name was also difficult to say and recall.

“Over recent years, it’s become apparent that our previous name was not only a mouthful to say and remember, but didn’t accurately reflect the broader range of services that we offer to the Police and people of NSW in our capacity as volunteers,” Maxwell said.

Having formed in 1936 as the Search & Rescue arm of the NSW Confederation of Bushwalking Clubs, BSAR has always worked alongside the NSW police, specifically the Police Rescue Squad, in order to provide specialised assistance.

“The truth is, we don’t only search for missing bushwalkers. Our more recent work has included canyoners, dementia patients, small children or tourists who’ve wandered off into bushland areas,” Maxwell explained.

“It is our hope that the adoption of this new name will see us referred to colloquially as ‘BSAR’ and is yet another indication of our ability to change and modernise, whilst fulfilling the needs of the public and the emergency services community.”

BSAR also hosts the annual NavShield event, which sees competitors come together to test their wilderness navigation skills over 100 square kilometres of bush. Registrations for NavShield are now open.