Cornwall Search and Rescue Team is a registered charity which is part of the network of organisations providing an inland search and rescue service for missing and injured people across Cornwall, at any time and in any weather.
Teams in the county will respond to about 30-40 incidents a year, although our busiest years have taken us to over 60 incidents. A typical call out will last 2 hours for a simple evacuation from the moors or woodland, and searches can be anywhere from 1 hour to several days and nights, with each operational period normally lasting up to 8 hours. In the event of a call out, the Team Leader is contacted by the police, fire or ambulance services, and if we are required to respond, a text message is sent to all of the team. The majority of the call outs are “non mountain rescue” – searching for vulnerable missing people in rural locations.
We regularly work with our neighbouring teams from Dartmoor and Exmoor, as well as specialist resources from the Search and Rescue Dog Association.
Each team currently has around 35 operational surface team members, based throughout Cornwall and they are all “on call” 24 hours a day. We also have an underground call out list, and a group of non operational members who assist with important support activities and roles.
Many of our members will be a combination of these by being available for call outs whilst also holding a position such as Team Secretary, Training Officer etc. Operational members who are interested in specific skills can specialise if they wish.
Typically, members will put in at least a dozen hours a week through training, call outs and support activities. All team members are highly trained and undergo minimum training periods and have to meet rigorous standards in personal, team and rescue skills and Casualty Care. These standards are set by Mountain Rescue – England and Wales, which is the coordinating body for the 60 other independent teams operating throughout England and Wales.