Jan 28 2017
This week team members Alistair Greenough and Michael Wakerley attended a five day course on managing searches for people missing from home courtesy of Lancashire Police. Students on the course were a mixture of serving police officers from Lancashire, members from Bolton MRT, Bowland Pennine MRT, Rossendale and Pendle MRT, Bay Search and Rescue as well as colleagues from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service.
The course was made up of a mix of classroom sessions interspersed with small group exercises looking at the behaviors of people missing from home and strategies that can be used to help find them. A very interesting session was provided by representatives from the Alzheimer’s Society which gave a great insight into how best we might plan searches for people with dementia who have gone missing from home. At the end of the session we were all given the opportunity to become “Dementia Friends”.
The final 2 days took us outside to look at map to ground interpretation to give better appreciation of what the ground we would ask people to search actually looks like and how difficult or easy it might be. Finally on the Saturday Bolton MRT hosted the final exercise where 2 of the students acted as search managers while the rest formed search parties with other members Bolton team to search the moors for a “Missing Walker”, kindly played by team member Mike Jones’s son Oliver who put up with very cold and wet conditions to allow us to put into practice what we had learned so huge thanks to him.
While the aim of the course was to educate us around search management which it did in masses it also provided an opportunity for us to meet people from other teams and services, to get to know their faces and them us so that when we do get called to a real search we know each other a little better which may certainly influence the efficiency and outcome of any search efforts.
Finally we would all like to give a massive thanks to the staff from Lancashire Police who facilitated the course and for allowing team members to attend. This is an incredibly generous act by Lancashire Police which will most certainly help us to help our community in the future.