Search and Rescue volunteers can now lead missing person huntsBy Jennie Slevin
January 29, 2013
A nurse and police inspector who volunteer for a search and rescue charity can now lead the hunt for missing people after qualifying as team leaders.
Adam Waller and Bracknell’s Acting Neighbourhood Inspector Charlotte Parker dedicate their spare time to Berkshire Lowland Search & Rescue (SEBEV) which helps search for vulnerable missing persons, including children or those with dementia.
The pair were among six volunteers to qualify as team leaders following an intensive course at the charity’s Easthampstead Park Conference Centre base.
Adam, of Avocet Crescent, College Town, Sandhurst, has been volunteering for three years.
He said: “I’ve got a background in emergency care so it pulled my interest.
“It was a bit of peer pressure as I knew people who had already volunteered for them so they persuaded me. When you find a missing person it’s amazing.”
The 29-year-old, who works as an agency nurse, gives about 10 to 15 hours of his own time volunteering each week.
He said: “I’m a bit different to the others, I do a bit of extra work but over a month I do about 50 hours with work and training and things.”
Inspector Parker began volunteering with SEBEV after working alongside them as neighbourhood sergeant during a search for a missing person.
She said: “My role was to deploy police teams to search areas and use SEBEV’s expertise in searching large areas of land near where the missing person was last seen.
“I was so impressed with their professionalism that when I was invited to go along and see what they do I jumped at the opportunity.”
The 41-year-old, from Bracknell, added: “The course was intensive but great fun and I really appreciate the opportunity to learn and develop my skills – the teaching and assessing members were great.
“That’s one of the best things at SEBEV, everyone is so supportive and development is encouraged.”
Insp Parker, who has worked for Thames Valley Police for more than 20 years, said the skills she’s learnt with SEBEV are also important in her policing role.
She added: “I took my team for a training evening at SEBEV where they took part in learning about search techniques, first aid and how we operate as a team.
“It gave them valuable knowledge which enables them to make informed decisions about how to deploy in the early stages of a missing person investigation.
“I used my SEBEV knowledge when responding to a missing person at work and this helped locate him much earlier than perhaps he would have been.”
SEBEV is on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and relies on sponsorship and donations. For more details, call 0300 3210 384, go to www.sebev.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org.