WILSAR take part in Exercise Opus Resilience

8 January 2016  |  News

Thursday 7th January 2016

Today, three members of WILSAR took part in Exercise Opus Resilience, a multi-agency table top exercise simulating a Mass Casualty Incident.

WILSAR Chair, Gail Leaman, Adrian Sawyer and Sandra Penfold, all trained Search Managers, joined teams of senior officers from the Police, Ambulance Service, Fire & Rescue, NHS hospitals, Environment Agency, Military and Search and Rescue to rapidly process information reports and decide response plans.

Whilst we hope that there’ll not be a Major Incident like a plane crash in Wiltshire, training and preparation is key to being able to respond.

Exercise Opus Resilience

2016-01 Callout Swindon

Tuesday 5th January 2016

Called out at 02:30 to assist Wiltshire Police in the search for a vulnerable 63 year old lady in Central Swindon.

Searches carried out through the night and Team stood down at 08:30 pending further police enquiries.

*UPDATE* Later that afternoon the missing lady returned home safely having spent the night at a friend’s house.

Join us in January 2016!!!

WILSAR are recruiting again!

As you slowly recover from the Christmas festivities and start thinking about what you’re going to do in 2016 that is worthwhile and rewarding, how about considering volunteering with Wiltshire Search and Rescue?

We’re looking to recruit motivated, committed and outgoing volunteers to become part of our Team. We need operational members to help us provide support to the Emergency Services in the search for missing vulnerable people. This can be anywhere in Wiltshire and occasionally assisting other Lowland Rescue teams in the surrounding counties too. We are also recruiting support team members to assist with other vital roles such as fundraising, maintenance, admin or welfare.

WILSAR Flood TeamAs a new member you will begin Team life as a Search Technician but have the opportunity over time to advance to Team Leader and Search Planner. Other skills can be achieved such as Bank Search, Flood Response, Swift Water Rescue, Bicycle Search, Tracking, Missing Person Behaviour, Navigation Awards and First Aid qualifications.

All of our members are 100% volunteers; limited kit is supplied but personal equipment, fuel and training is self-funded. A level of commitment to callouts, training and fundraising is expected throughout the year. You will however become part of a professional team where you will make good friends, explore the outdoors and get rewarded with the warm feeling that you are helping people in need.

To become operational applicants will be expected to attend regular training sessions over two months, leading up to a weekend residential Search Technician course in March where they will meet and train alongside trainees of other teams from around the UK. You must be over 18 with your own means of transport and be fit enough to walk 5 miles in under 2 hours. Due to the nature of Lowland Search and Rescue you will also be required to complete a Police background check.

A New Members’ Information Evening will be held in Devizes on the evening of 12th January 2016. Anyone who would like to attend to find out more about volunteering with WILSAR and meet some of the Team should send an email to membership@wilsar.org.uk for more details. Please give details about yourself and why you’d like to join WILSAR. Full training will be given so no experience is necessary but please include any relevant skills or experience you have such as previous SAR work, outdoor skills, first aid training, administrative, fundraising or other charity work etc.


Group pic

WILSAR Chair’s Xmas Greeting

Dear All

“‘Tis the season to be jolly” and all that… When so many of us look forward to time with the family, maybe parties or perhaps you could be working, it is also a time to remember that for various and sometimes very sad reasons, people go missing. It is also then that we remind ourselves about why we signed up and trained in the first place to be a member of a Search and Rescue Team and then act on it.

WILSAR has had a very busy year approaching 60 call outs and I would like to thank all of our volunteers for your time and commitment to the Team. Everyone in the team, the missing person and the Police depend on our help so please continue to respond to callouts and consider your availability. I extend that gratitude and season’s greetings to Wiltshire Police, all the other Lowland Rescue Teams, our supporters, fundraisers, donors, all the other services we’ve worked with and all the families and loved ones of the missing people that we’ve assisted.

Have a happy and peaceful Christmas and all the very best for a great New Year ahead.

Kind regards and take care,

Gail Leaman

Chair – Wiltshire Search and Rescue

Xmas hamper for Salvation Army

22 December 2015  |  News

Honda HamperHonda of the UK Manufacturing Ltd have kindly donated a Christmas hamper to Wiltshire Search and Rescue as thanks for our service to the local community. Earlier this year they have already made a generous donation and arranged for a new portable generator for us.

This close to Christmas we decided that there were plenty more worthy than us so Honda have kindly agreed to pass the hamper on to The Salvation Army this afternoon on our behalf. They do fantastic work helping people in need all year round, not just at Christmas and will pass this on to those who will benefit from it.



2015-59 Callout Salisbury

Monday 21st December 2015

Called out at 12:30 to search for a missing vulnerable male in the Salisbury, Old Sarum area.

Team stood down and search suspended at 21:30 pending further police enquiries.

The missing man was located in a hospital outside of Wiltshire shortly afterwards.

2015-58 Callout Swindon

Tuesday 15th December 2015

Called out at 23:00 by Wiltshire Police to search for a missing elderly lady suffering from dementia.

The lady was located by police very shortly afterwards and before WILSAR Team deployment.

2015-57 Callout Amesbury

Tuesday 15th December 2015

Called out at 01:00 to search for a vulnerable missing female in Salisbury.

Missing lady located and Team stood down at 11:30

2015-54-56 Callout Trowbridge continued

2015-56   Saturday 12th December 2015

Search resumed at 09:30. Sadly the missing lady’s body was found. WILSAR’s thoughts go out to her family and friends.


2015-55   Thursday 10th December2015

Continuation of Tuesday 8th’s search. Search resumed at 10:00 and suspended at 15:30 pending further Police enquiries.


2015-54   Wednesday 9th December 2015

Continuation of yesterday’s search for a missing vulnerable female in Trowbridge.

Team called to resume search at 10:00, search suspended at 17:00 pending further Police enquiries.

2015-53 Callout Trowbridge

Tuesday 8th December 2015

Called out at 19:30 by Wiltshire Police to search for a missing vulnerable female in the Staverton area of Trowbridge.

Search suspended pending further Police enquiries and Team stood down at 00:30.