Communications – Radios
The team is predominantly responsible and needs to be in contact at all times with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (what used be known as HM Coastguard) and operates Marine VHF licensed frequency radios. These are either waterproof handheld iCom radios used when away from our vehicles, or more powerful fixed iCom radios in the vehicles and at our Headquarters. As well as maritime and emergency channels the team has a license to also operate a secure channel for operational team communications. We are approved on the OFCOM Airwave Sharers list.
The team uses handheld Garmin GPS receivers, Active10 Sat-Maps and MemoryMap handheld GPS (both with OS map information) for on foot use, and MemoryMap Adventurer S7000 units or Apple iPads with Memory Map software in the vehicles. We also operate a GIS (Geographical Information System) with support from a major UK software developer ESRI and PC based OS mapping software. This consists of a waterproof Panasonic ToughBook PC used in our Hagglund or on our airboat which contains various scales of Ordnance Survey maps, which as well as being a super detailed sat-nav system also allows us to actually input data onto the maps, such as danger areas in the bay, main river channels etc which are not fixed geographical objects.
We carry a range of medical equipment on our vehicles. These include comprehensive first aid kits, defibrillators, resuscitation equipment and different types of stretchers.
Our operating area presents a number of challenges and we carry equipment specifically for certain types of incidents. These include inflatable rescue boats, 3 and 10 metre inflatable working platform/walkways which can be deployed quickly when inflated with compressed air and provide a stable and safe base to work from on mud, quicksand and water. The 3m paths can also be paddled as rescue boats. We have a purpose designed water rescue stretcher which floats and provides protection for casualties in extreme weather during water rescues. Other equipment includes; thermal imaging camera, night-vision viewers for searches in the dark, heavy duty LED searchlights, mud boards, vehicle and heavy recovery equipment and bolt cutters.
PPE – Personal Protective Equipment
Personal safety is vital at all times if we are to be able to operate effectively and professionally. All team members are issued with appropriate PPE for the operation undertaken. This includes: drysuits for working in water, breathable waterproof clothing for foul weather conditions, hi-visibility overalls and jackets for general work, fleece under-layers, safety boots for work on sands, neoprene gloves, PFDs (Personal Flotation devices) commonly called buoyancy aids fitted with quick release harnesses and rescue knives for river and shoreline work, gas inflation life jackets for offshore and deep water use, personal first aid kits, safety helmets, torches and head torches, cylumes (glow-sticks), throw-bags, Balcan long distance throw-lines, handheld GPS, handheld SatMaps, handheld VHF radios and night vision equipment.
Can you help with a donation to purchase items of equipment?
We are often asked if there are specific items of equipment the team needs, as many people wish to make a donation and prefer to buy an item rather than just make a non-specific donation. So we have compiled a list – click here for details.
These are either items we do not yet have, replacements for worn out equipment or kit for new team members.