The Police and Crime Commissioner Lisa Townsend has applauded the incredible contribution of the Surrey Search and Rescue team who have recently celebrated their 1,000th call out in the county.
Surrey SAR are made up entirely of volunteers who provide crucial help to the emergency services in finding missing people particularly vulnerable adults and children.
The Commissioner and her Deputy Ellie Vesey-Thompson saw the team in action when they joined a recent live training exercise which simulated a search for a missing person in woodland at Newlands Corner near Guildford.
They also went to meet the team and present awards for hours volunteered at an event in March.
Surrey SAR rely solely on donations to fund life-saving equipment and training for the team of over 70 members and trainees who are on-call 24 hours a day to respond across Surrey. The PCC’s office provide them with an annual sponsorship grant and have also helped fund one of the team’s control vehicles.
The team operate in farmland, urban areas and woodland and have specialist teams in water rescue, search dogs and an aerial capability using drones.
Since they were formed in 2010, the team recently surpassed the milestone of 1,000 call outs to incidents across the county. Last year alone volunteers gave up nearly 5,000 hours of their time making them one of the busiest Lowland Rescue teams in the UK.
PCC Lisa Townsend said: “Searching for missing people can often be a race against time which is why the role Surrey Search and Rescue play to support our emergency services across the county is so vital.
“They respond to incidents which really can be a life or death situation where someone could be at their most desperate. That is why they deserve the thanks of all of us for volunteering their time to carry out the amazing work they do.
“It was fascinating to see the team in action at the recent exercise and although it was only a brief glimpse of the challenges they face, I was really impressed with the professionalism and dedication they displayed.
“The team has recently celebrated its 1,000th call out which is an incredible achievement and highlights the invaluable contribution they make when someone goes missing in our county.
“My office is a big supporter of the team and I hope they continue to provide that crucial support to the emergency services in keeping people safe in Surrey.”
For more information on the work of Surrey Search and Rescue – visit their website here: Surrey Search & Rescue (Surrey SAR) (sursar.org.uk)