Rotary Club Of Warwick

Jul24 - Warwickshire Search & Rescue

A team of volunteers from Warwickshire Search & Rescue (WARKSAR) recently arrived in their mobile control minibus  to join Warwick Rotarians for lunch.

Tess Lukehurst, kayak team leader and fundraiser was accompanied by Adrian Smith, trainee search technician, and Medic. Amelia Weaver – a pre-hospital trauma doctor. Tess explained WARKSAR is now a vital emergency service, although many have not heard of them, they are a charity made up of volunteers called out by the Police for support when vulnerable people go missing.

36 Lowland Search and Rescue teams now exist and are part of the volunteer support to Police and Coastguard services. We are familiar with Mountain Rescue; Cave Rescue; and the RNLI; Lowland Rescue fills the gap for the rest of the country and teams may be called to help in other areas when a large area needs to be searched for missing vulnerable people These may be people who have dementia, children or people feeling despondent or suicidal.

Warwickshire SAR covers the Warwickshire and Coventry areas where over 700 people a year go missing. They have been fully accredited since December and have 30 fully trained personnel and 35 more in training. Some like Tess have specialist training – she is a Kayak team leader, and search co-ordinator, others are riverbank searchers, a dog team and on-foot searchers as required. All need a full set of kit costing £300 and the teams carry first aid and defibrillators.
Personnel are trained to locate missing persons, how to search, and work in difficult conditions such as floods, and provide emergency assistance. There are support roles in search planning, communications and fund raising. In just the last 3 months they have been called out 18 times by the Police to help locate missing persons.

Tess told Rotarians that they receive no funding or pay and have running costs of £10,000 each year to provide equipment, insurance, and training. Anyone who would like to help should contact www.warksar.org.uk/support-us .

Thanking Tess for her talk Rotarian John Taylor said he was familiar with the work of Mountain Rescue, and we had all watched the recent Cave rescue in Thailand, which emphasised the importance of training and teamwork, and thanked them for their hard work which often went unreported. President David Smith then gave a donation to their funds on behalf of the club.

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