Info for 999 agencies

If you’re a member of a statutory emergency service or local resilience forum, here is some information about us which is relevant to you.

Operations

West Mercia Search & Rescue operates as a single entity – all members are called out to all requests and we do not operate as separate bases for any reason other than deployment logistics. (i.e. we keep boats in the north and south of our area for quicker despatch)

Land Search

8 x Search Managers – can plan, record and run an RVO search with multiple teams/agencies
50 x Searchers – trained in search, navigation, comms and first aid
2 x 4×4 vehicles and remote medical/rescue kits to give 1st aid before ambulance arrives
1 x Incident Command van with independent digital VHF network (works where Airwave doesn’t)

We co-respond with Warwickshire Search & Rescue for all land-searches. If a search requires more assets, we will call in neighbouring teams from Staffordshire, Cheshire, North East Wales, Oxfordshire and SARA (Severn Area Rescue Association).

Water Search

6x Swiftwater Rescue Boat Operators
20 x Swiftwater Rescue Technicians – can work in and around fast-moving water
3 x additional Flood Rescue Responders – can work in and around static flood water
10 x additional River Bank Searchers – can work within 3m of moving water (in Fire Service terms, “The warm zone”)

We will draw in water search assets from other Lowland Rescue and Mountain Rescue teams as needed.

Boats

2 x stationed at Worcester
2 x stationed at Telford
1 x floating rescue raft (a boat with no engine, to pull people through flood water) at Worcester
1 x floating rescue raft (a boat with no engine, to pull people through flood water) at Telford

Callout number

Available from West Mercia Police, CVEC or FRS control rooms – will call a duty officer, and if not answered will alert 8x members’ pagers. Leave your number if prompted.
We prefer calls as soon as possible in to a job rather than waiting until sociable or workday hours. It’s easier to get more members at 1am than at 9am on a work day. Please call us as early as possible in to a search.

Logistics Bases

Worcester – vehicles and boats
Telford – vehicles and boats
Shrewsbury – vehicle
WMSAR operates in a mobile capacity, with no physical control-room. We have members living around Worcester, Kidderminster, Telford and the Shropshire Hills. Our deployment is managed by the Duty Officer via a resilient SMS and email system.

Insurance

We have signed MOUs with West Mercia Police, Hereford & Worcester FRS, Shropshire FRS and West Midlands Ambulance Service stating that we will be covered by Police insurance for all callouts. The team holds its own insurance for assets, training, events and non-callout scenarios.

Risk Assessments

We have standard risk assessments in place for all aspects of its operations, and our members are trained to dynamically risk-assess any operations on the ground.

Audit

The team is audited by Hereford & Worcester FRS on behalf of West Mercia Police, as well as self-declaring to DEFRA and The Association of Lowland Search & Rescue.

Get in contact

If you would like to make contact, have a site visit or discuss working together, please contact chair@westmerciasar.org.uk