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Mountain rescue press release: Northumberland SAR experts present at international conference

ByDave Stopher

Oct 29, 2016

Search and Rescue (SAR) experts, Pete Roberts and Carl Hamilton, will be speaking at Iceland’s biannual Search and Rescue conference this week about internationally transferable ideas they have developed in Northumberland as long-standing members of the Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team (NNPMRT).

Pete will be speaking about how a Mountain Rescue Team responds to a call for help from the Police in what they call ‘The Initial Response’ – this is a crucial time and it is important to get things right during this phase when an urgent and speedy response is called for. Carl will be speaking about techniques and tactics for searching at night – about 60% of all calls to Mountain Rescue come between the hours of 4 pm and 10 pm so night searching skills are essential for a speedy response.

They will also be teaching a day’s course on how, in the UK, they manage a SAR incident using a generic problem solving process they have developed in Northumberland – this will be delivered to members of Icelandic SAR Teams as part of their on-going training.

Pete and Carl are both former Team Leaders of NNPMRT and have extensive experience and expertise in SAR activities developed over a long period of team membership – Pete has been a member for 40+ years and Carl for 30+ years. They were both involved in the major search operations following the Lockerbie air disaster and have attended countless call outs to help missing and injured people. In 1997 they formed The Centre for Search Research (TCSR) as a registered charity to allow them to continue to research into aspects of search and rescue. The work Pete and Carl do for TCSR, and as members of NNPMRT, is entirely voluntary. Their published research on search and rescue is freely available via the TCSR website – www.searchresearch.org.uk.

Pete and Carl have spoken at many conferences around the world; the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland and now Iceland. In December they will travel to Poland to speak to groups there about their work.