2017 marks Roy van Schoor’s 49th year as a Search and Rescue Volunteer. From early days in a mountain rescue team to his position as an Incident Commander and one of the “Ou Manne” in the Western Cape based Wilderness Search and Rescue organisation today, Emergency Communications has always been Roy’s passion. The man that as a young boy built radio sets in his garage is today considered one of South Africa’s foremost experts in Radio Communications.
After the usual stint in National Service in the early 70’s, Roy was initially trained in computers by Burroughs Machines and Management Computer Services, receiving further technical computer training in the United States. In 1980 Roy started his own electronics business, branching out into other technologies such as huge multi-media conference and TV studio installations at Murray & Roberts, Old Mutual and Mobil Oil (Engen).
During this time, he and his brother founded the Four Wheel Drive Club of South Africa (WC), a collection of like-minded off-road enthusiasts who spent their weekends exploring the remote corners of the Cape.
Not content with simply having fun, Roy felt that the Club had to find a way to ‘give back’. This led to the establishment of the 4WDC Rescue Unit, an ideal way to combine off-roading and Search and Rescue….
Communications was obviously vital to the Rescue Unit’s capacity – and expertise in this field finally brought together all the vital ingredients that Roy applies to Event Communications today.
The Event Comms adventure began in 2001 when Roy was asked to assist with coordinating the communications for the Cape Town Cycle Tour.
Suddenly his diverse skills in all facets of comms, computers and incident management in Search and Rescue coalesced.
His subsequent innovations in real-time tracking, incident management, difficult communications environments and integrated mapping has made him the leader in this new and exciting field. As it stands, Roy and his team are the only dedicated Event Comms Team working in the country today.
Combined with his ethical beliefs, unflagging energy, outstanding work-ethic and excellent people skills, Roy’s background is utterly unique. With Roy as part of your Event Management Team you have peace of mind for yourself and an outstanding integrated safety net for your competitors.
Along with Event Comms, Roy designs and supplies two-way radio systems and equipment from his base in Somerset West.
Married to his wife Alison since 1990, he has one son, Evan.
Gavin Holroyd has been enjoying the outdoors since his teenage days as a member of the Mountain Club. He soon gravitated to volunteering for the mountain rescue team where he received training in basic rescue skills.
After completing his National Service during the mid 1980’s, Gavin accrued additional training in Technical Rope Rescue, HAZMAT, Swift Water Rescue, Vehicle Extrication as well as completing a Basic Ambulance Assistant course. After joining Delta Search and Rescue in the mid 90’s, he studied Search Management, Major Incident Medical Management & Support and the Incident Command System.
Gavin is today the Technical Training Director for Delta Search and Rescue and an Incident Commander for Wilderness Search & Rescue.
After a period of training as an electronics technician, Gavin served an apprenticeship at a leading electronics manufacturing and maintenance company in Cape Town. Following this, he started his own electronics repair company, Holtronics, working on office equipment, security systems and general electronic repairs. During this time, he secured a contract with the AFS Group where he was responsible for integration of the ‘Fuelomat’ fuel management system into South African petrol pumps. This involved work on RF and PLC systems and time in Israel studying new technologies.
At the end of this contract he worked for Medhold as a consultant on rescue equipment after which he was employed as an Assistant Fire Prevention Officer by the Helderberg Fire Protection Association.
Since 2003, Gavin has been responsible for the telecoms on the Cape Town Cycle Tour and has worked on various events for Omnipage on a contractual basis. His emergency and rescue experience coupled with his electronics background has proved invaluable to Omnipage’s event comms capability.
In 2014, Gavin received accreditation as a licensed Event Safety Officer after successfully completed the International Safety Officer’s course.
Gavin has two children, Siobhan and Matthew.