On 19th April 2017 we received a request to search for a high-risk missing girl in a very rural area of the Shropshire Hills. This is the timeline of that callout:
18.10 – Police Search Advisor (POLSA) appointed to a high-risk missing person search after local police enquiries and initial searches by car and helicopter. A POLSA is responsible for managing search tactics on longer, or higher-risk searches.
18.13 – POLSA called West Mercia SAR call-handling team. POLSA heads to scene.
18.17 – SAR Search Manager appointed and briefed by call-handler.
18.18 – Initial mapping analysed, RV location determined, asset list drawn up
18.21 – STANDBY alert to team members, requesting availability and drivers for team vehicles
18.25 – Logistics sorted. Full CALLOUT alert with RV location and initial logistics sent to team members.
19.00 – First team member on scene liaising with local police to get full briefing
19.05 – Search Manager arrives at scene, gets briefing and liaises with family-members to get more information
19.10 – First team vehicle arrives. Search Planner briefed to create team taskings and print mapping
19.15 – Fell-running club members tasked to search main path
19.21 – Team 1 tasked to search Route 1
19.25 – Team 2 tasked to search Area 2. POLSA arrives on scene and gets briefing from local police and SAR Search Manager.
19.28 – Quad team 3 tasked to search Area 3
19.30 – Local terrain experts tasked to search route 4
19.40 – Team 4 tasked to search buildings, outhouses, sheds, shelters in area 5
19.50 – Search planning enters next phase and taskings allocated for larger area searches. Helicopter requested to re-search area
20.00 – Team vehicles moved to RV location with better radio coverage. POLSA takes call regarding a second high-risk missing-person the other end of the West Mercia region
20.01 – Team facebook post goes live announcing callout
20.10 – Area 2 confirmed search complete. Team 2 request additional taskings.
20.15 – VHF Comms station established at high altitude for maximum coverage over area. Comms relay station positioned at valley head. Search plans allocated to teams 5, 6, and 7
20.20 – Police radio traffic. Sighting reported and being investigated by police
20.21 – Mapping printed for areas 6 and 7
20.24 – Police confirm girl located and identify established
20.25 – Standdown alert fails due to lack of phone coverage. VHF standdown issued
20.28 – Vehicle despatched to find signal and post standdown alert to team members
20.30 – Pack-down of RV and vehicles to return to original RV for debrief
20.35 – Fell-running club members collected and tasked with spreading the word about Standdown to others
20.45 – All public accounted for and signed-out
20.45 – Team facebook post updated with standdown announcement
20.48 – All team members accounted for
20.50 – Debrief with police and search teams
20.52 – POLSA gets message that second missing-person has been located alive and well by local police.
21.00 – 29 team members thanked and released to go home, or return kit to depots
22.30 – Search management notes collated
22.41 – All vehicles and kit back in depots, checked and ready to re-deploy
07.30 – Search management notes added to callout logging and audit system
08.50 – Thank you emails to National Trust and others for their assistance