Leicestershire Search & Rescue is a specialist search and rescue team which the emergency services find missing vulnerable adults and children and assist with rescues from remote areas of our countryside. We are on-call 24 hours a day, with a team of 50+ people and search dogs, to respond across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

Our Search and Rescue Dogs

We have a number of Search and Rescue Dogs on the team who are trained to Lowland Rescue National standards: -

The majority of our dogs are trained as air scenting dogs, as we are most often called to rural and unpopulated areas (where dogs are much faster than humans at searching). Dogs are trained to detect any human scent, and the training is built up in stages until the dogs are ready to carry out successful searches.

Training for all parts of the team requires hard work and commitment. Dogs are accepted onto the training programme following initial behavioural assessments. Then, the dog and its handler will need to pass a nationally accredited assessment to take part in searches. Typically, training takes place weekly, all year round, and it will take six months before the dog handler/support achieves qualification standards and around two years before a dog team is ready to be nationally assessed.

K9 dogs are the handlers own pets, so they have all of the usual costs such as food etc.; we provide K9 insurance, PPE for both handler and dog; this costs around £500 a year per K9.
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K9 Team costs per K9 = £500/year

Foot Teams

Our Foot teams deploy to all searches, effectively boots on the ground searching. Teams are deployed on almost all callouts, a team consisting of a Team Leader, Radio Operator, First Aider and qualified Search Technicians. Every new member must complete their training in Ground Searcher skills (a six-month process) to enable them to become a qualified Search Technicians and being deployed on operations. All team members must continue to demonstrate their ground search skills are up to scratch on a regular basis.

Ground Search teams can be deployed in both urban and rural areas, and will spend from one to six hours searching woodland, fields, parks, river banks and similar environments. The teams are deployed at any time of day or night, and in any weather, and must be self-sufficient regarding equipment, food and water.

The other specialist units complement the foot teams, so that between them the units can provide the speediest, comprehensive and effective response to callouts.

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Foot team member costings = £350 PP


The bike team consists of Search Technicians who are trained to search using Mountain Bikes.
We have 4 fully equipped mountain bikes.
The bike team has many applications in SAR, including:

Increased speed for route and path searches.

Quick reconnaissance of the search area to help inform the search plan.

Transport equipment to and from the control vehicle to teams on the ground.

Cover wide open areas fast and safely.

Each bike kit out is £700 Per rider

Water Bank Search Team

Our bank Search team consists of 20 members trained to search the water’s edge along canals, rivers and lakes.
Members are trained by the team and our issued with water safety equipment including life jackets and throw lines.
Team members can search these areas which are often overgrown, muddy and can contain other hazards.

Each water bank member kit out £300 PP

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (Drone Team)

UAVs (sometimes called “drones”) have great potential for helping us to search areas that might otherwise be inaccessible on health and safety or other grounds such as marshy areas, roads, growing crops, or watercourses. 
This is an exciting new development for us, and we are lucky to have purchased our new team drone which has a public address system, search light and has FLIR capability (thermal imaging to pick up heat sources) Some teams have already located missing person using drones.

£5,000 Per Drone

Command team

Our command team are made up of Search Planners and Search Managers who manage the Incident we are called to.

Planners using specialist mapping to help plan search areas using missing person data and live intel from the Police.

The team manage what resources are deployed where and record all parts of the search including radio messages, incident logs and a decision log.

Search Managers carry out this function but their main role is to have operational oversight of the incident and review any actions and decisions as required effectively Incident Commanders.

The command team uses mapping software under licence and other consumables such as printer ink, paper etc. These costs are approximately £500 a year
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Command kit training = £500/year

Team Medics

Team medics are made up of Paramedics, technicians and Search and Rescue Medics. Search, and Rescue Medics are trained to a national casualty care qualification. All equipment is the same across Lowland Rescue teams carrying various evacuation and casualty care equipment on team vehicles.
We need to ensure that our medical kit is up to date, and these cost around £300 a year in consumables.

Medic kit out = £300 PP