All 2015 news

Friday 20 – Sunday 22 March 2015

Search Technicians Course 2015

Another year and another ST course all wrapped up, this was the biggest course the team has ever run and was a huge success. Congratulations to the 33 candidates who all passed their final exams, that's 18 New search technicians for CSAR, 14 for MerSAR and one for Bolton MR.

This year we were also greatly honoured to welcome the High Sheriff of Cheshire, Mrs. Susan Sellers, who met with team members and joined in with some of the training exercises.

Starting at 19:00 on the Friday the candidates were split into six groups, each with two mentors. After an introduction to search techniques the candidates were quickly out in their teams for the first set of practical sessions. The evening ended at 22:00 with supper and a sojourn to the camp fire with the odd beer or glass of Prosecco.

Saturday morning continued with a mix of theory and practical sessions introducing the candidates to the various types of search lowland SAR can be involved in, and the different techniques required for each. They also learnt that not all missing people necessarily want to be found! The day finished with the teams putting everything they had learned into practice with a three hour long simulated call out to find a despondent male missing from home. Many thanks must go to NPAS Barton, who attended with one of their aircraft to assist with the search.

Sunday morning we welcomed one of Cheshire Police's Search Advisors (PolSAs), who gave a talk on his role and the increasing importance of CSAR in fulfilling it. The course then concentrated more on crime scenes and evidence gathering, mingled with introductions to the team's two search dogs, equipment familiarisation and, everybody's favourite, throwline practice. The day concluded with the candidates sitting a short theory exam, which, we're pleased to say, they all passed.

Huge thanks go out to all the team members, who gave their time, knowledge and experience over the weekend. Special thanks go to Di Hill, who once again proved the impossible was possible and kept everyone fed for the whole weekend.