Freemasons provides vital support for London voluntary search and rescue team

The London Freemasons Charity recently awarded a £5000 grant to fully equip the first incident control vehicle helping London Search & Rescue to quickly deploy search teams at the location of a missing person, increasing the chance of the voluntary organisation saving that person’s life.

Staggeringly, around 150 people a day are reported missing in London, which puts a huge strain on the resources of the Metropolitan Police. London Search & Rescue is a specially-trained voluntary organisation set up three years ago to assist the police in the search of missing vulnerable people within London, and beyond.

A vulnerable missing person could be a of any age – such a child that has just lost their way or adults living with Dementia, Alzheimers or Autism, for example – or someone who is considering taking their own life. In each case, an emergency response is vital; having the correct equipment, skills and training to respond to these emergencies is crucial.

London Search & Rescue’s ICU is the control centre of the search, equipped with key technical equipment, which enables skilled search managers to organise where to send the volunteers to search for the missing person. It also acts as radio command between searchers and the police.

Each missing person has their own characteristics and having a fully equipped ICU is crucial to enabling the search team to quickly locate and deploy searchers to the most likely areas where they may be found.

Steve McGowan, Operations Director, London Search & Rescue, said, “The support given by the London Freemasons Charity will help us make a positive difference. Having access to an Incident Control Unit has improved London Search & Rescue operational capability immensely in our support to the Metropolitan Police and the families of those missing people we are tasked to try and find inLondon.”

Steward Tony Shields, London Masons Charity, said, “London Masons are delighted to be able to help in this vital search and rescue facility for London; this is just one of the recent London Freemasons Charity grants to support a wide range of London based charities. This grant follows on from a recent £2.5m to fund two ultra-high aerial platforms, six rapid response vehicles and four bariatric stretchers and earlier generous donations of £3m to Bart’s hospital for the purchase of a Cyberknife and £2m donation towards the second London Air Ambulance, all of which contribute to saving lives right across this great capital city.”