Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner Lord Willy Bach braved torrential rain and not insignificant hills during a challenging training drill with the county’s search and rescue team.
The PCC was invited to join volunteers from Leicestershire Search and Rescue unit (LeicSAR) on Sunday 12 August for a ‘hands-on’ experience of what they do to keep local people safe and well.
During the visit, which saw the team scour woodland and Leicestershire’s open countryside, the PCC learnt how the team works alongside rescue dogs to locate missing people and return them to safety and the specialist skills they deploy in challenging terrain.
Speaking after his visit, Willy Bach said: “This was an eye-opening experience. It really made me realise just what is involved in a search and rescue operation.
“These highly-trained and courageous rescuers volunteer their skills to try and ensure that vulnerable people are recovered as quickly as possible. I’ve nothing but admiration for their commitment and understand a little better the difficult and often risky job they undertake to support the police.
“Missing persons’ enquiries are highly resource-intensive and locally we are faced with more than 1,000 cases every year. We are privileged to have such a dedicated team of people ready to respond and assist the police in their work.”
Earlier this year the PCC pledged his support to help LeicSAR maintain its lifesaving service. This includes the award of a £35,000 grant over the next two years to help fund the development of a new, fully-equipped, mobile Incident Command Unit.
The lowland search and rescue unit, run exclusively by volunteers, provides specialist resources to the police and other emergency services in the search and rescue of vulnerable missing people across Leicestershire and neighbouring counties when necessary.
Simon Headley, LeicSAR’s Chairman said: “The whole team really enjoyed both the exercise and hosting Lord Bach. We were not expecting him to come out with us especially on some of the more difficult terrain that we had, but he seemed to enjoy it and the views.
“It was a pleasure for me to show and demonstrate how we operate as a unit and for Lord Bach to witness the search operation, dedication, team work and specialist skills we use such as the command team, K9 team and search technicians to find missing people. The van that will be used as the basis for our new ICU was present, having been procured just a few days previously, and this will make the command function of a search so much better, having a modern facility where LeicSAR Search Managers can work alongside the Police on the same vehicle using all available search software to locate vulnerable missing people.”
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Wednesday 15th August 2018