Full account of this last weekends Cheshire SART Search Technicians Course

On Saturday 21st March 2015, we reported on Bolton MRT team members Mike Marsh and Neil Haigh attendance on the Cheshire SART Search Technicians Course 2015, which commenced on Friday 20th March and finished on Sunday 22nd March 2015.

Bolton MRT Trainee Team member Neil Haigh has now made the following detailed report on the weekend;

“After arriving at the Sandiway, Cheshire, venue on Friday evening for 18.00hrs and receiving normal course instructions regarding fire alarms etc we were thrown in to lectures.

These lectures, although concise contained much new terminology and plenty of facts for us to learn.

We then deployed in small teams into the “field” to practice some of our newly learned skills, only to realise very quickly, what tasks lie ahead of us. We were expected to find 5 pence sized items in an overgrown patch of the Sandiway Scout camp where we were based for the weekend – in the dark!

Food was them provided in monster portions followed by a little socialising around the camp fire.

The early start on Saturday saw us up, fed and learning by 08.45hrs.

The day was split into further sessions of theory based sessions followed by practical consolidation.

Following a hearty evening meal, we were then briefed on a practice search that would test all of the skills learned thus far, with NPAS Barton Police Helicopter arriving overhead to add to the realism of the search exercise.

Our evening finishing at about 22.30hrs with a debrief and camp fire socialising once again before retiring to our tents.

On Sunday morning after another early start and further training/practice sessions were undertook the exam to prove our learning.

The sessions included all aspects of searching for missing persons in a multitude of terrain environments including areas near water, effective documentation of all searching carried out, how to deal with persons once they have been located including treatment and evacuation to professional medical help, what to do in the event of the found person is deceased, how to handle media interests, anxious family members and the unlikely scenario that our missing person that we have found – does not want to be found! Much emphasis was placed upon the need to document everything that happens, so that it can be passed on to our colleagues in the Police forces.

Finally we were shown the capabilities of the MR/ALSAR search dogs and how they can (and do) assist.

We then cleaned up, decamped and made our tired way home.”

Neil Haigh and Mike Marsh would like to express their thanks to our friends at Cheshire SART for allowing them to take part in this weekend course, and the hospitality extended to them both.

The course included active participation from Cheshire SART, Merseyside Lowland SART and Bolton MRT.

Please refer to the Cheshire SART website, Facebook pages and tweets from Cheshire SART for more reports on this weekend.

Bolton MRT Team Call Out list member Chris Tennant has previously attended this same course in September 2013, see website ‘News’ report dated Friday 27th September 2013.