Last weekend the Team was involved in a research project led by The Centre for Search Research and Newcastle University Business School. The research was designed to explore the effectiveness of searching on the ground and in the air.
Over two days our search groups and search dog, Tess, and her handler were put to the test on the ground searching routes and areas on the moors near Rothbury.
QuestUAV and Northumberland National Park Authority were involved in testing fixed wing and rotor drones to search a defined route and area, and the UK Civil Air Patrol used planes and a helicopter to search the same areas.
From an incident control perspective the research gave us a great opportunity to put some of our technology to the test in tracking search groups and accurately recording what had and hadn’t been searched. We also worked with QuestUAV to analyse the digital imagery produced from the fixed wing drone to locate the missing persons.
A highly beneficial couple of days with observers from Northumbria Police, the National Police Air Support Unit, Northumberland Fire & Rescue and the Coastguard.
On Wednesday a few of our Water Rescue First Responders and Water & Flood Incident Managers joined Northumbria Police’s Marine Unit down by the river in Chopwell Woods. The exercise was designed to demonstrate the use of different techniques in order to safely access and egress riverside locations to recover an injured or deceased person.
As part of the exercise we put to good use our technical rope rescue techniques.
Two Scene of Crimes Officers also joined the training session and gave input on forensic body recovery from water.
This weekend six of our Incident Controllers and Water First Responders spent two days completing the Water Incident Management course. Thankfully the flood today in North Yorkshire was only a table top exercise. We now feel better prepared and able to work alongside other emergency services should our operational area suffer from localised or widespread flooding again.