Blaze welcome Warwickshire Search and Rescue
The Genting Casino Coventry Blaze look forward to welcoming Warwickshire Search and Rescue to the game vs. Fife Flyers on Saturday.
It is their aim to raise awareness of who they are, and the amazing work that they do.
During the week, we caught up with Ian Foster, a long-time Blaze fan and representative of Warwickshire Search and Rescue to find out more.
Who are Warwickshire Search and Rescue?
Ian: “We are a team of around 80 volunteers who are on call 24/7, 365 days a year. We work with the local emergency services to help search for vulnerable missing people in Coventry and Warwickshire.
We are all highly trained volunteers who give up our spare time to train, fundraise and when needed search for high risk missing people. This saves police time and resources meaning the bill to the taxpayer is lower. We are 1 of 36 Lowland teams across the UK and can only operate through charity donations."
Is lowland rescue a little like mountain rescue?
Ian: “In some ways yes, we go through similar training and our teams work in similar ways, but obviously, we don't have mountains in Coventry and Warwickshire so rather than looking for lost or injured climbers we get called upon to search for high risk vulnerable people who may be living with dementia and wandered away from home, perhaps suffering with mental health issues or they're feeling despondent and have hidden themselves away. Our aim is always to return the missing person to safety. It is very rewarding when we can do that as I'm sure you can imagine.”
How can Blaze fans and their family and friends help you?
Ian: “We receive no payment or funding from government so this means all of our kit and our extensive training has to be paid for by charity donations, so if the fans can search the web for Warwickshire Search And Rescue, they can find our website, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts and find details of how to make a donation to us - every penny really does help!”
Finally, how can people apply to join and what requirements would they need if they're interested in joining you?
Ian: “To join us you need to be 18 or over and have your own transport. We need support members that can help with fundraising, so there is no minimal fitness, but if you want to become an operational member you need to be able to cover 6 miles in 2 hours across Warwickshire countryside and have time to commit to training, fundraising and able to attend call-outs. You also need a good nature and a clean police record for obvious reasons.”
If anyone is interested, in donating, joining or fundraising, please speak to one of the six members that will be at the game or see their website or social media as above to donate or find out more.