Wales’ first lowland search and rescue team has gone into action on Anglesey.
Nearly 30 volunteers have joined MônSAR (Anglesey Search and Rescue) – a crew set up to help ease the pressure on emergency services and mountain rescue teams amid an increasing number of callouts.
It’s taken over three years of recruiting, fundraising and training before the team could become fully operational. The volunteers that make up MônSAR meet up at RAF Valley for weekly training.
Chairman of the working group, Huw Thomas, said: ”All members of the team have received specialist training that includes search techniques, search management and planning, first aid, communication and radio skills, fitness, and navigation training.”
”We have been working hard to recruit and train new members with assistance from other search and rescue teams from across England and Wales.”
North Wales Police are supporting the team with an old force vehicle from Llangefni police station, which now functions as MônSAR’s Incident Control. They’ve also been given radio and communication equipment as well as joint training with police officers on the island.
Temporary Chief Constable Gareth Pritchard, who met the team at last week’s Anglesey Show, said: ”The team have been working hard for several months to reach operational status, and it is pleasing to see that they have been successful at this important stage.”
”As the only lowland rescue team in North Wales, MônSAR will work closely with North Wales Police, the existing six Mountain Rescue teams, the Search and Rescue Dog Association (Wales) and other agencies to search for and locate the most vulnerable people within our communities.”
MônSAR, which is entirely funded by donations, are still looking for more team members, sponsorship and a permanent base to keep their Incident Control vehicle and equipment. For more information, visit their website.