W Bro Adrian Fox reports
Around 150 people a day are reported missing in London, putting a huge strain on the resources of the Metropolitan Police. London Search & Rescue is a specially trained voluntary organisation set up 3 years ago to assist in searching for missing vulnerable people within London, and beyond.
A vulnerable missing person could be of any
age - a lost child, adults who may have
dementia, Alzheimer’s or autism, or someone
considering taking their own life. In each
case, having the correct equipment, skills
and training to respond to these emergencies
is crucial - every second really does count!
An Incident Control Unit (ICU) is a hugely
important piece of kit, enabling London
Search & Rescue to quickly respond to a
missing person emergency. The ICU vehicle
is the control centre of the search, equipped
with key technical equipment, enabling skilled
search managers to organise where to send
volunteers to search, provide medical
equipment, and act as a radio command
control between searchers and the police.
Each missing person has their own
characteristics; having a fully equipped ICU
is crucial in enabling the search team to quickly
locate and deploy searchers to the most likely
areas where they may be found.
Thanks to the London Freemasons’ Charity,
who recently awarded a £5,000 grant to fully
equip our first incident control vehicle,
London Search & Rescue can now quickly
deploy search teams at the location of the
missing person and hugely increase the chance
of saving a life.
Steve McGowan, Operations Director, says
“the support given by the London Freemasons
will help us make a positive difference. Having
access to an Incident Control Unit has
improved London Search & Rescue
operational capability immensely in our
support to the Metropolitan Police and the
families of those missing people we are tasked
to try and find in London.”
This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 42 October 2020 edition.
Arena Magazine is the official magazine of the London Freemasons - Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London.
Read more articles in the Arena Issue 42.