I am the USAR Lead for UKRO since joining Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service 22 years ago I have seen many changes in what we do as first responders. Since 9/11 the capability to search and rescue trapped casualties and victims has been almost a modern day requirement of the modern fire and rescue service.
Since joining Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service 22 years ago I have seen many changes in what we do as first responders. Since 9/11 the capability to search and rescue trapped casualties and victims has been almost a modern day requirement of the modern fire and rescue service. Whether casualties have become entombed in a collapsed structure due to terrorist attack or following a natural disaster members of Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) teams have always been ready to respond to rescue those trapped.
I became a member of the Hampshire USAR team in 2006 as a Technician and now I am one of the National USAR Tactical Advisors and a member of the UK International Search and Rescue team (UK-ISAR) which is a multi-service team made up from volunteers across the UK who are ready and prepared to deploy overseas to areas affected by earthquakes and other disasters.
In addition to my USAR background I have been a group commander for Southampton, worked in training and currently I am seconded to the Chief Fire Officer’s Association. I became involved with UKRO in 2015 when Steve Apter asked me to take on the lead for USAR. The role brings me fresh challenges and the UKRO board members have been brilliant in making me feel truely part of the team.
My main goals this year are;
· To instil in the UKRO challenge the same interest by fire and rescue services that we see in other disciplines like extrication
· To develop and lead a team of USAR technical, command and medical assessors
· To use ensure that USAR grows as a discipline within UKRO and the challenges within the competition truly reflect the variety and breadth of skills within USAR
· The experience of competitors is equal to any other UKRO discipline and positive throughout
· To increase the number of teams entering the challenge year on year