A SEARCH and rescue team with expertise in finding missing persons is to set up a base at Cirencester Fire Station.
Severn Area Rescue Association (SARA) has been offered the use of the fire station premises, to help it establish a base in the Cotswolds.
“This new base will make a significant improvement to our ability to search for and find missing people in the Cotswolds and eastern part of Gloucestershire,” said John Dutton, land search manager for SARA.
SARA rescue volunteers often help with missing person searches in rural areas and the charity has advanced first aiders trained to mountain rescue standards, along with other vital equipment and medication, to provide care for casualties and safely get them to an ambulance.
The new base is expected to be operational in a few months.
Mark Preece, chief fire officer for Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service said: “We work closely with SARA on many incidents, including searches for missing persons, so this can only help to improve the response to those at risk.”
GCC cabinet member Cllr Dave Norman said: “SARA’s support and expertise with searches for missing persons is invaluable, so having a base in the Cotswolds will strengthen our collaborative work and help to provide the quickest possible response to any incidents in this area.”
SARA will be provided with parking spaces for their support vehicles, storage for their equipment and a meeting and training room, as well as kitchen and toilet facilities within the fire station.
The offer has been made at no cost to SARA as they work closely with Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service and Gloucestershire Police to provide support with incidents, including inland search and rescue operations.
Assistant Chief Constable Rhiannon Kirk, of Gloucestershire Police, said: “Working with agencies like SARA and our fire colleagues is vital in helping us find many missing people each year so this example of collaborative action is great news.”
“SARA provides specialist expertise on water and on land so their increased presence in a rural area like the Cotswolds is a very welcome development that will strengthen our response even further.”