A look at ASSAR and their affiliates
– Adeolu Adeoye
Sporting around fifty volunteers, Avon and Somerset Search and Rescue is by no means a large organisation. Yet, all their volunteers are fully trained and on call 24/7, ready to help whenever disaster strikes. Dedication aside, a group this small can exist only through cooperation with various other organisations, some of which will be highlighted in this post.
Avon and Somerset Search and Rescue isn’t a singularly operating organisation, but it is a part of a greater organisation in England and Wales: Mountain Rescue England and Wales. This national body oversees ASSAR, while also working alongside other groups such as the British Cave Rescue Council and the Association of Chief Police Officers. They also work closely with with the Avon and Somerset Police force. ASSPF requires the help of ASSAR for all manner of search efforts, using their expertise to make locating and saving missing persons more effective. Together, the two have located potentially thousands of missing persons from ASSAR’s start in 1975 to January 2017.
Local Ambulance Trusts control rooms (the South-Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust for one) also receives aid from members of ASSAR, who act as Co-Responders. These volunteers are called to respond to serious medical emergencies within their home neighborhood, and can reach the location of the emergency before the Ambulances. They are often on the scene long before professional help arrives, providing the patient with basic life support and whatever else the situation requires.
Contributions are also made by non-affiliated companies to help ASSAR continue their important work. Most recently, a donation was made by the Thatchers foundation. In February this year, the Thatchers foundation donated £5000 pounds to ASSAR, which helped them acquire an improved radio communication. A trustee from the Thatchers Foundation, Mike Williamson, commented “With the Mendips on our doorstep we are very aware of the commitment and dedication of the volunteers at the Avon & Somerset Search & Rescue. They deserve to have the most effective equipment to assist them in their challenging work, we are therefore very pleased to make this donation of £5,000 which will bring them towards their target for the purchase of their new radio communications”. Even those without the backing of a large organization can make contributions to ASSAR’s important work via small donations. Using Recycle4Charity, you can even donate via old mobile phones and inkjet cartridges.
– Adeolu Adeoye