Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text SWINDON NEWS to 80360 or email us
Chief Constable praises work of Wiltshire's search and rescue volunteers
Volunteers who search for missing people in Wiltshire have received a prestigious award from Wiltshire Police.
Chief Constable Pat Geenty gave Wiltshire Search and Rescue (WILSAR) a certificate of appreciation and praised the organisation’s volunteers for the valuable work they do in assisting the police to look for missing people.
At the presentation evening, held at the Nursteed Centre in Devizes, Mr Geenty told WILSAR members: “WILSAR is highly respected by Wiltshire Police. We have perhaps in the past not given you the recognition you need. While I am Chief Constable you will get that to each and every one of you.
“We simply could not do the job without you. Some of my officers are trained to search for people the same as you but not all of them are.
"We trust you, we know you are professionals and this award is a heartfelt thank you from Wiltshire Constabulary. We are dependant on you and the work you do is incredibly important.
“When you are out there on a cold wet night, perhaps for the third time that month, please understand your work is appreciated, not just by the people you are searching for and their families, but by us as well.”
WILSAR was set up in 1999 and has 50 volunteers. It is a charity, receives no statutory funding and members have to pay for most of their clothing, equipment and petrol.
Members train every other Wednesday and once a month they take part in a simulated training exercise to find a missing person. On average WILSAR is called out 50 times a year.
Following the presentation of the award by Mr Geenty a number of WILSAR’s members received certificates for five or ten years service including Sam Jago, 32, of Winsley who is a teacher at Rowdeford School near Devizes, Brian Tiernan, 41, a partnership development consultant of Devizes, and Adrian Smith, 49, a security manager, of Devizes.
Miss Jago, who has been with WILSAR for 11 years, said of WILSAR: “It’s something different, you learn useful skills. It’s a good group of people and it’s a nice way to get fit.”
Mr Smith, who has been with WILSAR for over ten years and is also the training officer, said: “It’s rewarding. I got involved because I wanted to give something back to the community. I was a bit of a rogue growing up, always in trouble.
"The award from the Chief Constable is fantastic and shows how much the team is valued and respected by the police.”
Gail Leaman, chairman of WILSAR who lives in Devizes, said: “We are thrilled to bits to receive the award from the Chief Constable and we are very, very proud. The Chief Constable and his team are so supportive.”
Comments are closed on this article.