4 November 2022
Members of the St Helena Fire & Rescue Service, Rock Guards, Emergency Planning, Marine Section and the Royal St Helena Police Service recently participated in a week-long Lost & Missing Person Search (L&MPS), Search Technician (SxTech) course. Selected personnel also attended the Search Team Leader course.
Both courses were delivered by Police Search Adviser (PolSA), Tony Garbutt, and former Police National Search Centre (PNSC) Technical Trainer, Senior Coastal Operations Officer, and retired Chief Inspector, Graham McCallum and funded by UK Government .
A Search Technician is authorised and responsible for the effective searching of a prescribed search area, utilising appropriate techniques and additional skills (First Aid etc) to achieve the highest probability of Detection/Assurance Level and to locate/rescue the casualty as quickly and practicable, thereby affording them the highest opportunity for survival.
The course aim was to update and provide a wide number of officers with sufficient training to participate in a lost and missing person search across St Helena. As a small island territory any searches are more than likely to include searches of coastal areas and require close cooperation between land and maritime SAR services for access, search and/or recovery and for a successful outcome.
On day three and four of the course, 10 personnel from St Helena Fire & Rescue Service, Rock Guards, Emergency Planning, and the Royal St Helena Police Service also attended the Office in Charge and Search Team Leader Course. This ensured everyone had the chance to manage an incident. Once again improving the Emergency Services resilience in leading any searches. Day five was the assessment day and a scenario was set up by the instructors whereby an elderly lady went missing from her residence. The objective was to collate all of the relevant information, brief Search Team leaders who then in turn would brief their teams and commence the search for the missing person (Misper).
The officers in charge of the scenario were identified and quickly established the search cell and divided their personnel into search teams with team leaders. By using the knowledge gained in the training across the week, there was a successful resolution in locating the lady. The scenario lasted for approximately three hours after which there was a debriefing.
Once the exercise finished, all persons attending the course were presented with a certificate, for successfully completing the course.
St Helena Government would like to thank Mr Tony Garbutt and Mr Graham McCallum for delivering this training that will surely benefit the Island.
4 November 2022