Comprising 30 operational members, WMSAR covers the whole of Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire with expertise in missing-person search and water rescue. With 10 new recruits due to start their intensive training in January, the team decided to use Crowdfunder – an online funding site – to help them purchase winter kit for their volunteers.
WMSAR believes that this is the first time crowdfunding has been used to help a UK search and rescue team fund their equipment, and hopes that it will ease the burden on its operational members having to devote as much unpaid time towards fundraising – the average operational member of the team gives over 80 hours towards fundraising per year, on top of their commitment to training and callouts.
The team has made a video (below) showing what it is like to be involved in a search, which members are hoping will capture the imaginations of local people willing to help them. And in return for pledges of support, the team is offering some unique incentives including certificates and even chances to join them on a simulated exercise next year.
WMSAR, which has bases in Telford and Worcester, is a recognised specialist resource for West Mercia Police and Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service, on call 24/7 to respond.