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 qualified 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 response)

We specialise in search management and deployment on water and land, for high-risk mispers.

We also train to deploy for civil-contingencies (floods, mass-casualty events, resilience).

Land operations

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
4×4 vehicle and remote medical/rescue kits to give 1st aid before ambulance arrives
2 x quad-bikes for large-area search or delivery of medical equipment
Incident Command van with independent digital VHF network (works where Airwave and phone doesn’t)

Water Search

6 x 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
All members are trained to work within 3m of moving water (aka “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
3 x stationed at Telford
10 x kayak search trained members
1 x floating rescue raft (a boat with no engine, to pull people through flood water) at Worcester
2 x floating rescue raft (a boat with no engine, to pull people through flood water) at Telford
Mud/ice rescue paths at Telford.

Drone

We have multiple drones with HD video.

Training for emergency services members

We can offer training opportunities to 999 crews in the form of joint-training or basic search skills training. This is a link to a document we produced for Dyfed-Powys Police response officers for initial misper search considerations. For training enquiries please contact andy.macauley@westmerciasar.org.uk

Callout number

Available from West Mercia Police, CVEC or FRS control rooms – will ring 8 members.

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
Bridgnorth – vehicles and boats
We operate 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.

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 West Mercia Police and Hereford & Worcester FRS, 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 andy.macauley@westmerciasar.org.uk

Join us

If you are a serving emergency services member you might be tempted to join us, but please be aware that most serving personnel drop out of training when they realise what a commitment it is. We train 1 evening per week, many weekends, and must fundraise, attend maintenance, meetings and callouts. It is not a role for those with little free-time or high-stress at work.