Posts Tagged ‘search’

Family send thanks for our support in finding missing George

Family so thankful after Wiltshire Search and Rescue finds George

After nearly 600 hours of searching involving 51 people, two Search and Rescue tracking dogs and spanning four days, Wiltshire Search and Rescue team members were successful in finding missing George Bassett, an 82 year old man with dementia. George was immediately taken to hospital where he is recovering well. The family has lived in Nomansland near Landford for 50 years and George has always been a keen walker.

Pamela Bassett, George’s wife, said today, “Knowing that you were out looking for him gave me the strength to carry on. I am so grateful to you all for what you did and I feel like this is my lucky day.” Pamela, who celebrates her 81st birthday today (22nd July) added, “Everybody from Wiltshire Police and from the search and rescue organisations couldn’t have done more and I can’t thank you enough.”

Walking

Searching for George Bassett

George had been reported missing on Tuesday 18th July from his home in Nomansland, at the edge of the county bordering the New Forest. Wiltshire Police called the professionally trained volunteers from Wiltshire Search and Rescue to assist in the planning and the search. Volunteers were also called from neighbouring Lowland Rescue teams: Hampshire Search and Rescue, Hampshire Search Dogs, Dorset Search and Rescue, and Dorset Search Dogs.

Planning

Adrian Sawyer, Chair of Wiltshire Search and Rescue, had this to say about the multiple teams who brought about the success of this search, “We are really pleased with the outcome of this search and it was absolutely worth the lost sleep, the miles walked, the thunder, lightening, and torrential rain that we all endured in order to bring George safely back to his family. I’m proud of the way all the teams worked together seamlessly and supported Wiltshire Police. This is truly why we train so hard and volunteer our time.”

Water ii

The search was coordinated by Wiltshire Police who also used their drone and their helicopter to scour the fields and woodland around Nomansland in sometimes very challenging conditions. The teams on the ground quickly reacted to the information coming in from a variety of sources and were able to systematically search a large area of fields, crops, a reservoir and woodland.

Team work

Lightening

Wiltshire Search and Rescue is a voluntary organisation funded entirely through voluntary donations. The team is professionally trained and is called out by Wiltshire Police to support with finding vulnerable and missing people. In 2016 over 10,000 hours of volunteer hours were given to the community by the team. Our volunteers come from all walks of life and are united in their desire to be there when people need us most.

If you’d like to donate to the team to support our equipment, our vehicle and our training please visit http://wilsar.org.uk/donate

 

www.wilsar.org.uk

Facebook: @wilsarteam

Twitter: @WiltshireSAR

 

For press information about Wiltshire Search and Rescue, please call Sarah Wolf, PR 07747 733216 or email pr@wilsar.org.uk

 

About Wiltshire Search and Rescue

Wiltshire Search and Rescue is a non-profit making organisation that relies on our own fundraising, along with donations and sponsorship from the public and local businesses. We receive no government funding or subsidies and are a registered charity. All of our members are unpaid volunteers and we make no charge for our services.

 

The team consists of approximately 50 members. All operational members are trained to the Association of Lowland Search and Rescue (ALSAR) standards. We have a number of ALSAR trained Team Leaders, Search Planners and Search Managers. One of these members is on duty at all times and will arrange the call-out of the Team via an SMS system. Searches are usually managed on the ground by our own Search Managers who act under the direction of a Police Search Advisor.

 

2017-12 Callout Swindon continued

Thursday 13th April 2017

Team placed on standby at 11:00 to continue search for a missing despondent male in the Blunsdon area.

Team deployed at 12:30 and stood down again at 17:20 pending further Police enquiries.

2017-11 Callout Swindon

Wednesday 12th April 2017

Called at 21:30 by Wiltshire Police to search for a missing  despondent male in the Blunsdon area of Swindon.

Search continued throughout night and Team was stood down at 06:30 pending further Police enquiries.

2017-10 Callout Highworth

Thursday 6th April 2017

Called out by Wiltshire Police at 12:50 to search for a high-risk missing teenager in the Highworth area.

Team stood down at 20:00 as girl was located safely by Police.

Praised for our lifesaving work

9 February 2017  |  News  |  , , , , ,

In 2016 Wiltshire Search and Rescue volunteers were called out 43 times by Wiltshire Police to help locate vulnerable and missing people, including saving the lives of two people they found. The volunteers were also asked a further eight times to assist with neighbouring Search and Rescue teams, bringing the total number of call-outs to 51, almost one a week, throughout 2016.

Wiltshire Search and Rescue red jacket

Wiltshire Search and Rescue Operational team on a search exercise

In recognition of the hours of searching that Wiltshire Search and Rescue’s team has given for free to their local community, Inspector Paul Saunders from Wiltshire Police, had this to say in thanks, “The initial stages of a High Risk missing person investigation are crucial in terms of getting the right resources in the right place as soon as possible.  The welfare of the missing person is paramount.  As well as utilising specialist police resources, such as Air Support, Police Search Advisor (PolSA) and Dog units, it is imperative that we contact and deploy Wiltshire Search and Rescue as soon as we are in a position to do so.

“This opens up more options to the officer in charge of the search on the ground and greatly increases the chances of finding the person in the quickest time possible, which is the ultimate aim of the investigation.  Knowing that we can bring Wiltshire Search and Rescue volunteers to standby at the start of an investigation and then move to callout as soon as we have some defined search parameters, means that the PolSA can plan the most effective search strategy under the circumstances.

“When you speak to a Wiltshire Search and Rescue volunteer their pride in what they do and their dedication to their craft is tangible. Their willingness to be on call, at all hours of the day, for no reward other than knowing they have been directly involved in saving lives does them credit.  Wiltshire Police is very pleased to be associated with them and look forward to continuing the close working relationship that exists between us.”

Searching

Fully operational members on an exercise on the Marlborough Downs

  • In 2016 the team gave up 10,071 hours of their time to help missing or vulnerable people.
  • If this was converted into an average police officer’s wage, it would cost the taxpayer over £180,000.
  • For every hour that a volunteer team member spends searching for missing and vulnerable people, they spent another eight hours taking part in vital training or attending update sessions to ensure the smooth running of the organisation.
  • Nearly 80 training events took place in 2016 including joint training exercises with the other emergency services.
  • The most common areas that we were deployed to in 2016 were Swindon (15) and Salisbury (7).

Adrian Sawyer, Chair of Wiltshire Search and Rescue, added, “The statistics for 2016 show what a vital role we play in supporting the emergency services. Most importantly, vulnerable missing people that we help who need medical attention are given it by our volunteers, specifically trained to do this in an emergency situation. We directly helped to save the lives of two people last year who would have died if they had not been found and given lifesaving treatments by Wiltshire Search and Rescue volunteers.”

Wiltshire Search and Rescue takes new trainee volunteers twice a year and puts them through a rigorous training programme before they go away for a weekend course to finalise their skills and to gain their Search Technician qualification. 20 current trainees are learning basic medical skills, working alongside experienced volunteers and expert paramedics. They’re also learning how to search, how to navigate, use radio communications and have undertaken a proof of fitness walk before they’re made fully operational. They will then be able to join the more experienced team members on live searches, on-call 24/7 to support when needed.

Adrian Sawyer commented on what it’s like to be a trainee, “The commitment is important and it’s not for everyone, but the amazing sense of being able to give something back to the community is what usually drives people through the rain, the cold and the evening exercises! When we’re out searching and we’re thanked by the family and friends of the person we have been called to help, all the hard work is immediately worthwhile. It’s an honour to be able to work alongside Wiltshire Police and to give the support that is needed at a time when it’s so critical.”

Night searching

Trainees watching a simulated search and rescue at night

Charli Cumberpatch, a recruitment consultant, joined Wiltshire Search and Rescue in November 2016 because she wanted to make a real contribution, adding, “The training has been fantastic and everything we’ve learned so far has exceeded my expectations. Everyone in the team has been friendly and welcoming and there is a true feeling of everyone working towards a common goal, to help the missing person.”

Rob Owen, an enterprise wireless and routing and switching specialist, joined because he wanted to get his teeth into something, commenting, “As a family we loved geocaching, walking around the countryside looking for items so this feels like a more worthwhile version of that! I’m going to take personal satisfaction in giving something back. I’m no hero but being able to be there in someone’s hour of need is something that drives me.”

If you’re interested in joining our team then take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions to learn more about what it takes.

 

 

 

 

2017-06 Callout Highworth

Tuesday 24th January 2017

Called out at 05:30 by Wiltshire Police to conduct a search operation for a high risk missing elderly man with dementia in the Highworth area.

Fortunately the gentleman was found by the Ambulance Service and treated for hypothermia. Team stood down at 05:50.

2017-03 Standby Lacock

Sunday 15th January 2017

Team place on standby at 20:10 to assist Wiltshire Police with a missing female with mental health problems in the Lacock area.

Search Manager was deployed to the scene to liase with Police. Missing lady was located by police shortly after and standby cancelled at 21:15.

2017-02 Callout Box continued

Tuesday 3rd January 2017

Search resumed at 18:30 for missing lady in Box, Corsham.

Search supsended at 01:30 pending further Police investigation.

Kind thanks to all who brought snacks and drinks to the search area on this cold evening.

UPDATE – Thursday 5th January 2017

Sadly, at 10:45 this morning, the body of a woman was found who Wiltshire Police believe to be this missing lady. Our thoughts are with her friends and family.

2017-01 Callout Box

Monday 2nd January 2017

Team placed on standby by Wiltshire Police at 18:55 to search for a missing lady in Box near Corsham. Team deployed at 19:30.

Search suspended at 03:00 pending further Police investigation.

During the search, three WILSAR members were first on-scene to a road traffic collision. A motorcyclist had left the road and crashed into a hedge/ ditch on a fast A road, and was trapped under his bike. Luckily his brake light was not smashed, and our volunteers spotted the red glow in the darkness.

All Team members receive training in casualty care. Prior to two ambulances arriving, they were able to use their skills and experience to perform a primary assessment, free him and start inital treatment whilst Wiltshire Police provided scene safety.

2016-50 Callout Westbury

Friday 30th December 2016

Team called out at 10:10 to search for a missing man with a mental health condition in the Westbury area.

Team stood down at 18:10 when missing man made contact with Wiltshire Police.