At the weekend SuLSAR once again went into the forest. Twice a year we put ourselves through a massive amount of training across a weekend. We sleep little and train hard.
When the emergency number rings, we never know what situation we will be presented with. We endeavour to assist the emergency services in Suffolk with a skill set that is valuable to them for when they need it.
This weekend we added a skill set, we validated an operational Kayak team. This team can be used for inland waterways and bodies of water, day or night.
Searching by Kayak can be very quick and useful day or night. They can see in the reeds and see the bank from the water. Sometimes they can get to areas a foot team cannot. On the Saturday night we tested this team. As part of the nighttime search exercise there was a live casualty in the water. The casualty had been seen entering the water at a bridge. Taking into account the times and flow, the casualty could have been anywhere on a 4 kilometre stretch of river.
After a river threat assessment the Search management team deploy the Kayak team. They successfully found the person and recovered them. The water rescue team got involved and extracted the person from the water. During the rescue effective first aid was administered to a hypothermic patient.
While that was going on, the foot teams had discovered a vehicle and were deployed into the forest to find a missing person. Their training worked and they soon found a drugged and delirious missing person deep in Thetford forest. They took care of the individual and evacuated them to safety.
The team received refreshers on navigation, crime scenes and basic life support. They worked with Norfolk and Suffolk 4×4 response to improve our interagency capability. A fantastic weekend of training with over 50 people involved. Thanks to the training team and their lead for bringing it all together.