All SULSAR members have their own personal equipment and clothing readily available at all times. This typically includes: a Hi-Viz jacket and helmet which are provided by the team, waterproofs, walking boots, personal first aid kit, pen and paper, compass, torch and all the other things you would expect to carry when out walking in the Suffolk countryside.
Team members are also provided with any specialist equipment they may need such as Icom IC-F12 VHF Personal radios. Also available to searchers are Satmap GPS and Garmin Foretrex 201 Wristband GPS units. These are allocated to each search team and enables them to pass a map reference of their location to control accurately.
In 2017 Mr Tim Passmore, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Suffolk, generously awarded us a grant to allow the purchase of 5 FLIR handheld Thermal Imaging cameras which have proved invaluable when searching at night.
in 2017, Suffolk Fire and Rescue donated the team a Vauxhall Movano van that they no longer had a use for which was needed to replace our ageing Control Van.
The van is our base when we are deployed for training and callouts. It provides the Search Planners with a place to consolidate all the available information and to plan the most effective search plan. It provides a base for the Search Managers to deploy teams and to track their progress. It is also the communication centre and a means of transporting the essential equipment for the teams on the ground.
The Control Van is the hub of any search and being able to replace our previous one was vital to the effectiveness of the team.
The van was fitted out by members of the team with kind support from some of our sponsors TMJ and CFS and the team is very grateful for their support.
The van is equipped with two networked laptops running specialist search software, large monitors, whiteboards, a printer and has 4G internet access. It also has two radios, associated masts, a generator and scene lighting.
As searches can often take a long time and invariably are at night or in poor weather, the welfare of the team is of utmost importance so there is also a kettle!
The van also has our defibrillator, major medical kits, spine boards and a wheeled stretcher to allow the team to deal with any medical situation.
It is hard to imagine all the little things that the team needs from glow sticks for marking areas at night to printer paper and sugar sachets for the tea box. We are very grateful to the many people who have bought us something from our Amazon wishlist – every little thing does make a big difference as it releases our limited funds to provide more specialist equipment and simple things like petrol for the generator.