Far too early on a Sunday morning, 6 members of the team and Saoirse the search dog made their way up to Marlborough for a joint training exercise with the Wilshire Search and Rescue team, Dorset Search and Rescue, Wiltshire Police and the Berkshire Search and Rescue Dogs.
Full of croissants (thanks Dennis) and caffeine we took two of our vehicles on the 3 hour road trip up to Marlborough football club where a very warm reception greeted us on arrival.
Once we had stretched our backs out from the journey and introductions had taken place we were all split into teams consisting of foot, water and dog teams and then waited for further instructions. The Team Leaders were initially briefed on the scenario and then proceeded to relay this back to the rest of the group.
Two young girls had been reported missing from their home, we were given descriptions of them and a map of an urban area that needed to be searched. Throughout the search extra information was given. This led to my team locating one of the girl’s bikes. This was reported back to control and we continued the search. Once the area had been completed we returned to the RV for refreshments and then waited to be re-tasked. Our second area consisted of mainly woodland. We got halfway through our area when control confirmed that one of the dog teams had located the girls. All teams were tasked to return back to the RV.
After a thorough debrief from all parties we headed inside to tuck into a buffet kindly prepared by the hosts.
It was really interesting to see how other teams work, we all felt that this was a valuable learning experience. We have taken away some new ideas that could potentially be implemented into our team to enhance how we operate.
Thank you so much to Wilsar for inviting us and making us feel very welcome. It was a very successfully exercise which we all thoroughly enjoyed.