In October 2015 five members of our EVOLSAR partner, the Emergency Fire and Rescue Unit (E.F.R.U) based in Malta, visited us in Salisbury to undertake Swift Water Rescue training to Responder level, in order to enhance their capabilities in case of flooding in their own country. As they had little previous experience of water rescue, the local waters around the Salisbury area provided ideal conditions for our instructors to carry out joint training with the E.R.F.U team and our own Community Resilience Team.

The E.F.R.U team are also volunteer Firefighters when at home, so spending a few days living and working from a functional fire station provided an ideal opportunity for them to learn a big about firefighting in the UK. Massive thanks go to all the watches and staff based at Salisbury Fire Station and the Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service for being so welcoming to our visitors. Taking the time to show them the equipment and methods they use in their work.

November saw seven members of the International Response Team deploy to Portugal for the annual EVOLSAR exercise involving the 6 member teams of EVOLSAR, teams wishing to join in the future and some invited guests from the USA. The exercise involved the participants carrying out several USAR scenarios as individual or mixed teams to encourage joint working. The weekend concluded with a meal cooked by a local Scout group and some presentations, including the confirmation of Serve On as a full member of EVOLSAR.

As the EVOLSAR association grows we will see more opportunities for us to take part in joint training and exercises, as well as hosting members of other teams for training in this country. We are currently taking part in a project to produce a basic rescue manual that will support training and interoperability between EVOLSAR teams. Our contribution to this manual will be a chapter relating to Flood Response and Swift Water Rescue, an area where we as a team have a wealth of expertise and experience to draw on.

If you want to know more about EVOLSAR and how Serve On got involved click here to read more from Tony.

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