There are opportunities to progress from a Search Technician through to Team Leader or Search Manager, and to develop more specialist skills such as Team Medic, Flood Rescue, Bike Searcher and Tracking.
All trainees must complete Non-Police Personnel Vetting Level 1. This is so that Wiltshire Police can be confident that the operational team members are suitable to care for missing and vulnerable adults and children, and to have access to Police premises.
Not all criminal convictions or cautions are an immediate bar to volunteering. Team members do not get to see the specific details of your disclosure, only if you are/ aren’t suitable for the role. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Wiltshire Search and Rescue works on an on-call system and all operational members are required to use an app or SMS messages to signal whether they are available to attend a callout.
A team member can change their on-call status at a moment’s notice, and we understand that work and family commitments should come first.
As many as you are able to. On average, the team is called out 50-70 times a year to search for vulnerable and missing people. It is also expected that members will support with fundraising events, mentoring new trainees and helping to plan exercises as and when they can give their time. There is the option to go on sabbatical for several months if work or family means you cannot commit for a period.
Every operational member is required to attend a minimum of 25% of call-outs per year (roughly 1 a month). It is important that life-saving skills are kept up-to-date, so operational members are required to attend at least 25% of training sessions, and some qualifications need to be reassessed every year.
We accept trainees from 18 years old and there is no upper age limit. Providing you are capable of maintaining your skills and fitness level, everyone is welcome to volunteer. There is a proof of fitness walk that expects all operational members to walk five miles in under two hours carrying team equipment over rough terrain. Support members are not required to complete a proof of fitness walk.
To drive a team vehicle, you must be 25 years old.
A full UK driving licence and access to a vehicle is necessary. Due to the time critical, 24/7 nature of Search and Rescue, public transport is not a suitable alternative.
All other training will be given, although recognition of prior learning will be considered for some subjects like medical and water rescue.
Most training takes place on Wednesday evenings from 19:30 – 22:00 at the Wiltshire Police HQ in Devizes and on Sundays between 09:00 and 16:00. Exercises to test the skills learned can be anywhere in Wiltshire.
A Search Technician (ST) aims to find a missing or vulnerable person, provide any initial life-saving treatment and then move them to a place of safety. This could be into the back of an ambulance, or home to their worried family members. An ST is qualified to Lowland Rescue National Standards, so neighbouring teams can work together.
Search Technicians have the responsibility of turning up at a callout with the appropriate clothing and equipment, to be fit and well enough to go out and search for the missing person, to follow instruction from their Team Leader, and support the other members of their team.
While out on a search, Search Technicians will work in small teams to locate the missing person. They will work under direction from the Team Leader, who will have been briefed on a plan from the Search Manager. Search skills, communication and the ability to take instruction will all be used on a search. It is also important that every member of Wiltshire Search and Rescue is respectful to members of the public, especially family and friends of the missing person, that they meet on a search.
Wiltshire Search and Rescue relies entirely on grants and fundraising for income so anyone that would like to join to support with fundraising will be welcomed. There are also administrative roles such as graphic design, web development and supporting the writing of funding applications. If you have skills in business, equipment maintenance, communication or fundraising, then we’d love to hear from you if you have time to volunteer in a support role.
There is a volunteer agreement that we ask everyone to sign that signifies a voluntary contract between us but is not an employment contract. It sets out what is expected and how Wiltshire Search and Rescue will support you.
Yes. Most of our volunteers have paid jobs and fit in their operational duties during their free time if their employers can’t release them. You are able to choose when you are available and on-call through our online management system. You are never expected to turn down your primary employment or family commitments to support Wiltshire Search and Rescue but there is mandatory training that needs to be completed each year in order for you to remain operational.
There is no salary as all positions are voluntary. Expenses are not paid so you need to be responsible for your own fuel, food, drinks and outdoor clothing. All operational members will be issued personal protective equipment and uniform, other items such as boots and outdoor clothing are the financial responsibility of the members. Fuel is the single biggest expense, as team members travel all over Wiltshire (and occasionally to surrounding counties) for callouts. Basic training is free, but we encourage our trainees to attend a UKSLI (UK Lowland Search Institute) weekend course for which there is a small charge.
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a) visit the site
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What information do we collect about you?
We collect your name, email address and any message that you send us.
How will we use the information we have about you?
We will use this information to respond to your enquiry and provide the services requested. Wiltshire Search & Rescue will not share your information with anyone else.
We do not use your information to market to you.
Looking after your information
Your information (name, email address and message) is stored on secure servers and is never shared with any other third party. Only Wiltshire Search & Rescue sees this information, unless you ask us to refer you on to another professional and give permission to share your details.
Access to your information and correction
You have the right to request a copy of the information that we hold about you. If you would like a copy of your personal information, please email us.
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