News | Emergency Response Team Search and Rescue (ERTSAR) UK


ERTSAR monitoring Hurricane Irma

ERTSAR are closely monitoring the path of Hurricane Irma and preparing for our deployment to assist. Our thoughts and prayers with the affected people at this time.


ERTSAR swift water rescue scenario weekend in the Lake District


The ERTSAR team spent the weekend in the Lake District with their Swift-water Rescue Technicians and new members running water rescue scenarios, training, paddle boat exercises and a night search and rescue scenario.

Special thanks to Howie Crook, Director of Water Rescue ( and his young volunteer ‘victims’ for helping out with logistics and making the night exercise even more challenging!

The ERTSAR team train across multiple disciplines including swift water rescue, USAR (collapsed structure rescue), search, survival, high-angle rope rescue and more. Often, skills can cross between disciplines; rope skills are used in a swift water environment, and the ability to search for a casualty or missing individual in a marine utilises the skills of traditional lowland search.

ERTSAR are a DEFRA flood response asset in the UK. We are grateful to the Department for Transport for the grant we received at the end of 2016 which enabled us to purchase new marine rescue equipment which was utilised in these training  scenarios.

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Rescue and response 4X4 vehicle purchased thanks to The People’s Postcode Trust award

In November 2016 we announced the generous award of £20,000 to purchase a vehicle, boat engine and trailer by the People’s Postcode Trust. We are now the proud owners of a rescue and response Land Rover Defender 110. It is kitted out with recovery equipment and custom recovery bumper, winch, snorkel, roof rack, radio, dash-cam, sat-nav, first aid kit and team livery.



Here is it being used for medical recoveries at the Bucks School Cross Country championship runs.

We’d like to say a special thank you to David and Lee from Motorseeker, based in Chesterfield for the top quality service we received and supplying the vehicle at a discounted price for our charity.

Also thanks to John Halsey at Herts Custom 4X4 for fitting out the vehicle with custom winch bumper, light bar rack, snorkel and recovery points.

And once again, thank you to the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery and the Trust. People’s Postcode Trust is a grant-giving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

ERTSAR awarded £11,798.36 by DfT’s Inland Rescue Boat Grant Scheme 2016/17

ERT Search and Rescue, a DEFRA recognised Water Rescue Asset and a United Nations recognised Search and Rescue team has been awarded a grant of almost £12,000 by the Department for Transport.

On the 24th January 2017, water rescue charities around the UK were awarded over £900,000 by Maritime Minister John Hayes. The grant supports charities running lifeboat and rescue services, helping those in danger on and around inland and inshore waterways including during flooding and other water related incidents.

As part of this grant scheme for 2017, we are very pleased to announce that ERT Search and Rescue has been awarded a total of £11,798.36 to purchase new water rescue and safety equipment. This money will enable us to continue providing our rescue services nationally, enhancing our ever growing swift water and boat team’s capabilities and replacing and buying new life saving equipment.

Above, ERTSAR team members on a Swift Water Rescue Technician course in the Lake District, summer 2016.

SAR Chief, Gary Foo said, “We are very grateful for this grant scheme and the monies we have received. Our capacity as a flood and water rescue team providing 24/7 services year round and being available in our local communities in the UK depends on funding like this. Our operational needs have been greatly supported by this generous grant from the Government.” 

Gary would also like to thank ERTSAR member James Browning who led the project proposal process and spent many hours working on the bid. Also a huge thank you to all our volunteers for all the selfless dedication and hard work they put in for the benefit of others.

ERTSAR rescue from collapsed structures (USAR) training weekend

breaking4The team recently completed USAR training, kindly hosted by the West Yorkshire Fire Service. Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) refers to the location and extrication of victims from collapsed structures, such as in the aftermath of an earthquake. These skills make up an important part of our response ability when deploying to countries affected by all types of disaster. USAR techniques were employed by our Canadian team members when deploying to Staten Island, New York, after Hurricane Sandy.

The team are trained in the use of search cameras and DELSARs – seismic and acoustic listening devices to locate people trapped or entombed within collapsed buildings. Training also includes breaking and breaching reinforced concrete, shoring methods used to make safe an entryway into a compromised structure, lifting and moving heavy objects from a rubble pile, scene safety, PPE and more.

ERTSAR recently received an extremely kind donation of a 4 sensor DELSAR and three search cameras plus kit from SAVOX Communications.


ERTSAR awarded £20,000 from the People’s Postcode Trust and players of the People’s Postcode Lottery

ppl_logoWe are delighted to announce the award of £20k from the People’s Postcode Trust and players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.  This generous donation will be used to purchase a 4X4 rescue vehicle, rescue boat engine, prop guard and trailer.

ERTSAR chief Gary Foo said: “This incredible donation is fantastic for us as we look to bolster our water and flood rescue capabilities going into what is predicted to be an extremely wet winter. The new equipment will enable us to deploy quickly when called to support communities throughout the UK affected by flooding, providing critical and life saving support. I would like to thank the players of the People’s Postcode lottery and the Postcode trust for this amazing contribution.”

ERTSAR’s dedicated volunteers have continued to train hard throughout 2016, rehearsing the rescue techniques and procedures required during a flood deployment. Should the worst happen, the unit is on standby to deploy nationwide.

People’s Postcode Trust is a grant-giving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.


Apply for funding for your next project. Visit the Postcode Trust website here.

Play the People’s Postcode Lottery and support other worthwhile charities like ours.

ERTSAR Receive Donation of DELSAR and Searchcams from SAVOX Communications


The team are very pleased to announce the donation of thousands of pounds worth of USAR rescue kit from Nick White, International Sales Manager at SAVOX Communications, manufacturer of Searchcam and DELSAR victim location equipment based in the UK.


Mr White had spoken to our SAR Chief, Gary Foo, and generously offered a DELSAR 4 pod Life Detector, a Searchcam 2000 – plus an additional Mongoose short extension cam, extra extendable arms, rechargeable batteries, all in Pelican boxes.

A DELSAR is a seismic listening device, used to locate victims trapped in collapsed structures by triangulating sounds transmitted through rubble, pipes and rebar. These devices are invaluable for saving victims in the aftermath of earthquakes and disasters. Searchcams are an important tool when deploying to and working on the rubble and allow us to see into voids and confined spaces to locate and communicate with victims.

SAR Chief, Gary Foo said: “This is an incredible donation. Our technical search capability has been hugely enhanced with the kind and useful donation by Nick White and the SAVOX company to our charity. This will allow our specially trained volunteers to search for trapped victims following an earthquake or structural collapse. We are so grateful to Nick and SAVOX for their generous support of our work.

We are very grateful to SAVOX for their extremely kind and generous donation. This kit will be put to good use for training the team and on deployments to disasters across the globe.


Kop Hill Climb 2016 Medical Cover



This is the first year that ERTSAR have provided medical cover for the Kop Hill Climb weekend.

The Kop Hill Climb is a volunteer run event run under “Heart of Bucks” with the sole aim of raising money to donate to local community projects and charities.

The event has raised £305,000 since the revival first took place in 2009.

There were over 16,000 people in attendance across the two days of the weekend, with over 500 cars and motorbikes in static displays and also running the Kop Hill itself.

We were pleased to be able to provide our services to such a well organised, exciting event that supports great causes in the Bucks area. carpic9carpic6carpic5carpic3carpic1carpic4

Thames Traditional Boat Festival 2016 Event Cover

The Thames Traditional Boat Festival is one of the ERTSAR team’s favourite events of the summer.

We have been providing water safety cover for many years – this time we also provided a medical service too.

It was an action packed three days and the team were busy on and off the water assisting boats and attending to medical emergencies. Attractions at the festival included the Royal Jubilee barge ‘Gloriana’, Battle Of Britain Memorial Flypast, the Veterans Parade and the Illuminated Parade.

This year we had some spectator participation in our rescue demonstration, where members of the public could have a go at ‘throw-bagging and rescuing’ one of our team from the river.

It was also a chance for us to display our new mannequins, dressed in their rescue gear! We are actively recruiting new members at the moment and we had the pleasure of talking to lots of people who were interested in becoming more involved with ERTSAR. We look forward to seeing them at an induction soon.

Summer Marine Unit Training on Henley Regatta Weekend

IMG_8679Members of the team spent a full day on the river practising boat manoeuvres and swift water rescue techniques, keeping their skills on top form.

It also happened to be the weekend of the Henley Regatta, so we flew the flag for the team and headed up and down the river to show support for the local event. We were called on by two stranded boats which required towing to safety.

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+44 (0)1491 378 007

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+44 (0)8432 891 478

ERT Search and Rescue, C/O Henley Business School, Greenlands, Oxfordshire, UK, RG9 3AU

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