A busy, busy day yesterday. Most of which involved a fascinating tour of the BBC at Broadcasting House in London, more on this later. The evening involved attending an a council External Partnerships Select Committee meeting, which received two presentations, one from Surrey Search and Rescue, and the other from the Environment Agency.
As a nation we’re blessed by people who volunteer, notably in the field of rescue services. The UK’s Lowland Rescue provision combines predominately volunteer-based organisations, such as Mountain Rescue, Cave Rescue, Volunteer Coastguard, the RNLI and others.
I imagine you’ll not have heard on Surrey Search and Rescue. It was only formed in 2010, when neighbouring counties noticed a need for a permanent representation in the county of Surrey. It provides a valuable role assisting Surrey Police in finding missing people using foot-teams and dog-teams, often over large areas of wilderness and without knowing where the casualty is to begin with. Over 2,100 people go missing in Surrey alone.
The service is run entirely by volunteers, none of whom is paid for their time, fuel or expenses. It receives no public funding, and is supported only through donations and grants from industry. Surrey Search and Rescue provided invaluable support in the floods in 2014, such that their work was recognised by the Prime Minister who invited them to No 10 Downing Street. Séamus Kearns, head of operations for Surrey Search and Rescue, gave the presentation to the committee, and before which he allowed committee members to clamber all over the group’s 4×4 rescue vehicle.