ASSAR Welcomes Five New Team Members

After two years of showing the commitment and competencies required five trainees became full team members.

Ben, Jenny, Yaron, Dave and Ian had to spend at least 6 months learning the core competencies required of every team member. After this initial period they were invited to selected callouts to see them put all the training into practice.

In front of all the potential new team members at this years selection weekend the five were presented with their hi-vis jackets that show they are truly part of a unique team. The rest of the team welcome them on board and wish good luck to this years trainees.

The five new team members joining ASSAR.

The five new team members joining ASSAR.

Posted on 27 / 10 / 2015

Accountants Learn to Search and Rescue

Avon & Somerset Search and Rescue (ASSAR) revealed some of the techniques they use to a local accountants firm on 24 June. Staff from Old Mill Accountants spent the day with the team and were led through training in the morning and then expected to put it all into practice in a large search and rescue exercise in the afternoon.

Using land and facilities generously provided by Mendip Snowsport in Churchill, Old Mill’s staff were taught navigation and search skills alongside putting specialist stretchers together and handling them safely.

During the exercise the accountants were tasked with finding and rescuing one of their colleagues from a tricky situation in woodlands. To add pressure ASSAR added another casualty into the scenario! We’re pleased to announce that both the casualties were moved to a safe location, our congratulations to all the staff at Old Mill.

Andrew Moore, partner at Old Mill, commentated afterwards that it was a “superb day” and that the event had had a “universally positive response” from the staff attending.

Old Mill made a generous donation to the Team of £1250 on the day. A Team spokesman stated that “the rescue team relies completely on donations and this sum will go some way towards upgrading the Team’s vehicles and communications equipment”.

ASSAR is an emergency service staffed by volunteers on call 24/7 365 working on behalf of Avon and Somerset Police. If your company would like to spend a day with the team please contact communication@assar.org.uk

Posted on 06 / 07 / 2015

Bristol Water Support ASSAR with Donation of Toughbooks

Members of ASSAR were delighted to accept the gift of seven Toughbooks from Bristol Water during the computer mapping training they went through recently. The Toughbook laptops will enable ASSAR to use the latest in computer mapping software to help during searches.

Panasonic Toughbooks are rugged laptops designed to withstand drops, spills, dust and grime and to perform in the harshest environments. ASSAR is on call 24/7 365 days a year in any weather, being asked to by the police to assist in difficult, hard to reach areas and so will the Toughbooks.

Eight members of ASSAR underwent two days of training in the latest software known as MX SARMAN from Mapyx. The software has been specifically designed to assist in the planning of searches through maps and the allocation of resources while producing vital time and date stamped records. The latest system allows multiple users to work on the same incident, ideal for some of the large and complex searches ASSAR is called to. Mapyx provides this system free of charge to mountain rescue teams in the UK.

An ASSAR spokesperson said,’These laptops and the mapping software are an important step forward for ASSAR. The accumulated experience of the team members in planning and managing searches can now work in parallel with some very sophisticated technology. The team is very grateful to Bristol Water for this very generous donation. Mapyx continue to be a great supporter of search and rescue across the country and long may that continue.’

Bristol Water Mapyx

ASSAR members training with the latest mapping software from Mapyx

ASSAR members training with the latest mapping software from Mapyx

ASSAR members training with the latest mapping software from Mapyx

ASSAR members training with the latest mapping software from Mapyx

Posted on 09 / 03 / 2015

Training in the latest Computer Mapping Software for Searches

Members of ASSAR are being trained in the latest version of a computer programme that helps plan and coordinate searches.

SARMAN is a GIS Software programme specifically developed for the use in the search and rescue management of missing persons. Originally it was designed in conjunction with Mountain Rescue England and Wales and subsequently used on numerous searches since. It is in use with MREW Teams, ALSAR Teams, MOD SARF, Police Forces and Fire & Rescue Services.

Bristol Water are helping ASSAR with a project to make it easier for the team to use SARMAN and are hosting the training, our thanks to them for their ongoing support.ASSAR SARMAN computer search

Posted on 05 / 03 / 2015

ASSAR Condolences to Family of Missing Mother and Baby Found in Avon Gorge

Avon & Somerset Search and Rescue (ASSAR) would like to pass on their condolences to the family and friends of Charlotte Bevan and her daughter Zaani Tiana Bevan Malbrouck during this very difficult time.

Avon and Somerset Police requested the support of ASSAR on the evening of Wednesday 3rd December for a technical search of the cliff face in Avon Gorge. Team members, along with the police rope access team, worked until 3am on Thursday and then returned at 10am to resume the search. The team found the baby child on Thursday afternoon.

Duncan Massey, chair of Avon & Somerset Search and Rescue said; “We are very proud to have been able to use our specialist skills to assist the police with being able to draw this incident to a close. This was a particularly difficult and harrowing search due to the nature of the incident. All of the team members involved are being supported by the wider team.”

Posted on 05 / 12 / 2014