I first came across Kent Search & Rescue (KSAR) when I attended a Forget-me-not Café at the BRIDGES Centre earlier in the year. Steve Holman, Community Liaison for the charity had been invited to give a presentation at the café about the services of this fabulous Kent-based charity.
KSAR are a registered charity providing teams of qualified search technicians called upon to search for vulnerable missing persons, people who under normal circumstances may not be able to look after themselves; this includes children, elderly people with dementia/alzheimer’s or people with learning disabilities. The team also are called upon to search for people who are depressed or suicidal.
Every one of their members is a volunteer, carrying out a number of varying roles within the organisation from search technicians to administrative roles. This means that 100% of all the money they raise goes towards vital equipment and operational costs and members do not receive any expenses or financial benefit. The charity is funded entirely from public donations.
They work closely with Kent Police, local authority and other emergency services, responding to 999 calls only. KSAR members make themselves available 24 hours a Day, 7 Days a Week and 365 Days a Year.
Become a KSAR volunteer
Operational search members need to be 18 years old or above and be fit enough to carry out the duties of a search team member. Maybe you enjoy long walks, cycling or swimming – you would be ideal! Age is not a barrier to joining as non-operational roles within the organisation also need to be managed such as publicity, fund raising and logistical support.
You will be invited along to an induction evening where members will tell you about what they do, why they do it and how you can become a member.
As you can imagine, the training does take some commitment. As a search technician you would be required to attend a training course over 3 separate weekends in order to learn the various search techniques, medical safety, navigation techniques, evidence handling and crime preservation and much more.
During this time you would also be expected to attend bi-weekly training nights which take place on a Monday between 7.30pm and 10pm.
You might want to get your dog involved and train as a search dog handler. Air scenting dog teams are trained to NSARDA standards and called upon with the search for missing people. You and your dog will learn valuable search techniques and must be able to commit to at least 2 days training per month with the dog team in addition to the general training requirements.
Featured in: Issue 83 – July/August 2016