St Helena Fire & Rescue Service Search Capability

The St Helena Fire and Rescue Service (SHF&RS) have tested their increased search capability, following training towards the end of last year, with the recent successful conclusions of two missing person cases on St Helena.

In September 2019, SHF&RS Brigade Manager, Alan Thomas, undertook Police Search Advisors Training (PolSA) at the National Policing College in the UK. This training formed part of the Overseas Territories Search and Rescue (OTSAR) Programme and was funded by the UK Government through the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) in association with the Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA).

Brigade Manager, Alan Thomas, commented:

“We are very grateful to the team at OTSAR for developing and enhancing our search and rescue skills. We’ve already felt the benefit of the training with two recent searches having successful outcomes for both. The new techniques meant we were able to create a search cell at the Police Station and the searches took less time than they might otherwise have done before the training.”

The initial training was expanded on when Paul Duffy from the Police National Search Centre, College of Policing, arrived on-Island in October 2019 to deliver a training course outlining the new and improved search strategy techniques to the entire SHF&RS. The course was split into two main topics:

  • Search Team Leader – Fire & Rescue
  • Search Technicians – Fire & Rescue

The Search Team Leader is authorised and responsible for the leading and welfare of the Search Team, adopting appropriate search methods within the assigned search area and ensuring effective search techniques are utilised by the Search Technicians. They are also responsible for communication with regards to Situation Reports, finds, and probability of detection results.

A Search Technician is responsible for the effective searching of a prescribed search area, utilising appropriate techniques and additional skills to achieve the highest probability of detection and to locate/rescue the casualty as quickly as practicable, thereby affording them the highest opportunity for survival.

#StHelena #SHF&RS #OTSAR #CSSF #MCA #AltogetherSafer

7 May 2020

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470