On Friday, Suella met with a team of local heroes who run Hampshire Search and Rescue (HANTSAR). This included Trevor Vidler, Vice Chair and Public Profile Officer, Phil Harvey, Chair and Search Manager, and Alison Chestnutt, Search Lead and Search Manager. The informative visit provided Suella with an opportunity to learn more about their organisation, how they assist the police with operations and recent successes they have achieved.
Due to their office being on wheels, Suella was able to meet the HANTSAR team in a car park outside Fareham Leisure Centre. HANSTAR operate out of a mobile van unit which contains all the equipment they need to assist the police with searches. Their team of dedicated volunteers provide round the clock cover to assist the police and other agencies to search for vulnerable missing persons. Searches may be carried out in urban areas, including door to door enquiries, searches of car parks or recreation grounds, the countryside, open land, coastal areas or in wooded areas.
Suella was pleased to learn that all operational members are professionally trained to the standard required by the police and other search and rescue agencies. This includes qualifications in search techniques, first aid, map reading, radio operation, search planning and management. To ensure that they maintain their high level of expertise, training searches are run twice a month.
Having learnt more about their high standard of work, Suella was very grateful to hear about their recent success. HANTSAR were pleased to share that earlier this year they rescued their 900th missing person. The team at HANTSAR have been in full operation since 2003, to date they are continuing to provide their specialist assistance continuously. Recently, they were called out to conduct a search, but thankfully the team was ordered to stand down following a successful location by the police.
After a detailed overview of their techniques for finding missing people, the team emphasized their reliance on donations and volunteers. As a non-profit charity, HANTSAR are always looking for support from the local community. To find out how you can assist the team, please visit their website at:
Commenting, Suella said:
“Wonderful to meet the dedicated team of volunteers at Hampshire Search and Rescue and my thanks to Fareham Leisure Centre for accommodating us. I was very grateful to learn more about their important role in our community. With a highly trained and specialist team of volunteers, HANTSAR having been assisting the police and other local services with locating missing people since 2003. Thanks to them, over 900 people have been rescued and kept safe as a direct result of their honourable work. I look forward to speaking with the team in the future to assist them with their needs and would encourage anyone interested in supporting this fantastic group to get in touch with their team.”