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Search and Rescue


Our International Response Team comprises highly trained experts available 24 hours a day to save lives by responding to disasters anywhere in the world

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Search and Rescue


Our International Response Team comprises highly trained experts available 24 hours a day to save lives by responding to disasters anywhere in the world

Serve On’s International Response Team (IRT) comprises a highly trained team of experts available 24 hours a day to save lives by responding to disasters, anywhere in the world.

With over 20 years experience and 22 international deployments in history.

Deployments to disaster areas have included India in 2001, Pakistan in 2005, Haiti in 2010 and Nepal in 2015

IRT and has over 20 years experience and 22 international deployments in its history. Deployments to disasters areas have included to India, Pakistan Haiti and Nepal. On each occasion teams were deployed from our headquarters within hours of the disaster and were able to start their rescue work immediately on landing. Each team takes enough resources to sustain their time in the country to make sure that they are only a positive asset to the local communities.

Local people who have escaped the disaster are often able to dig out casualties close to the surface. Rescues made by the team are most often from deep within a collapsed building and some have taken over 20 hours to complete requiring the use of specialist technical search equipment and rescue equipment. Successful use of this equipment is due to the huge experience gained by the team in real disaster situations and many hours of simulation training.

Alongside Urban Search and Rescue Serve On’s capabilities include Flood Rescue, Specialist Search Dogs, Command & Control, Relief Team co-ordination, Humanitarian Needs Assessment and the provision of water sanitation systems.

Serve On also provides resilience, disaster risk reduction and search and rescue training in disaster prone countries to UK accredited and International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) standards. We have delivered this training in countries including India, Pakistan, Portugal, Peru, Oman, France, Spain, Turkey and have also provided professional advice relating to disaster management to high profile companies and governments.

The Serve On IRT also works in partnership with universities to develop and deliver education, both in the UK and internationally, adding to the body of knowledge and research into disaster management.

SERVE ON RAPIER charity number 1058653 was formerly known as RAPID UK of the same charity number, since rebranding in 2013 the team, assets and charity continue in humanitarian directions but are not associated with its former name or individuals re-establishing under this or similar titles.
SERVE On is not affiliated with the newly created charity Rapid International, John Holland or any persons claiming to be Rapid UK
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UK Community Resilience


Network of volunteer Community Resilience Teams to support the Emergency Services and Local Authorities

UK Community Resilience


Network of volunteer Community Resilience Teams to support the Emergency Services and Local Authorities

Serve On is developing a national network of formally trained volunteer Community Resilience Teams to support the Emergency Services and Local Authorities in their response to emergencies and major incidents.

These Community Resilience Teams engage, recruit and empower people from all walks of life, young people, long term-unemployed, ex-military and emergency services personnel but above all members of the public who want to help other people. By doing this we aim to transform the lives and skills of the people involved, but also the communities around them.

 

As the training, which brings people together, is provided by experienced team leaders this means that volunteer members can respond to a range of emergencies such as flooding, power cuts, missing person searches, supporting vulnerable people and many other incidents.

 

These teams are coordinated and run by qualified trainers and anybody can join, no matter their experience level. You just have to want to be part of something big. Check out the get involved section for more information on Membership.

CRTs work with statutory responders to identify where and what types of emergency support is required in each local area and then develops capabilities to fill these gaps. 
SERVE ON is able to advise communities on resilience planning, such as creating severe weather response plans, and then deliver the implementation and training needed for this.

Serve On IRT supporting the flood relief in Tadcaster 2015

Serve On IRT supporting the flood relief in Tadcaster 2015

While membership is open to everyone, we specifically target our recruitment at veterans from the Armed Forces and Emergency Services with their proven commitment and leadership skills. CRTs will engage, recruit and empower marginalised young people and the long-term unemployed, whose lives we aim to transform through sustained, team-based volunteering.

We have two established CRT networks one in Wiltshire and one in Portsmouth. If you live in or near Wiltshire or Portsmouth please click here  to register your interest in joining. If you live elsewhere, please click here to register your interest. This page will be updated as new CRTs are formed.
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Community Support


Community support projects in and around the local areas

Community Support


Community support projects in and around the local areas

We run a number of community support projects in and around the local areas around our bases. From local education to helping older people get out and about, to delivering logistical projects, rebuilding and mentoring out volunteer team is there to help those in need. 

Lend-a-hand
When people get in touch with us to see if we can help our team springs into action. Recently we have helped a number of older community members leave their houses, as nobody else is able to. Simply put, our team will assist with getting them into a vehicle and to their destination, and take them home afterwards. Although small, these acts of kindness mean that an elderly man can visit his wife in hospital for the first time in six months

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Dog Search Team


Dog Search Team


Our specialist Dog Team train to the highest levels possible and have assisted with search and rescue Internationally and closer to home.

Currently we have six handlers and five canines who are all part of our specialist team and must complete two to three years of training before assessment as an operational asset.

Our specialist Search Dog Team have deployed internationally to Iran and Turkey and we currently have search dogs under training that are due for assessment to be able to be utilised both within the UK and overseas.  They are an important part of the Serveon Search and Rescue Team as they accelerate the search process by locating casualties or by narrowing the search area after which the Search Team are able to use their specialist technical search equipment to pin point a casualty.    

The dogs have been deployed within the UK to attend a number of structure collapses as well as high risk missing person searches.

The dogs are an important part of our team and accelerate any search process by locating casualties or narrowing down the search area. They are trained to locate live casualties and are currently training to search in and around water.

Our dogs are trained specifically for locating live casualties and we are currently working towards training search dogs for searching in and around water in the UK.   

We work to the standards of the International Rescue Dog Organisation and we train with a variety of organisations, including the British International Rescue Dog, the local police and fire rescue services. 

They are on the register for the Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Somerset and Avon Police (Tri Force) as a search asset. They are also a fundamental part of the IRT, since 1998 they have been deployed to three countries for earthquake search and rescue missions. In 1999 to Turkey and Columbia and Iran in 2003, where they were working around the clock scenting out live casualties. They are in incredibly valuable asset to UK communities. 

Are you a current canine Search and Rescue dog handler or do you have a dog and would like to be involved in this type of work? Contact us to get in touch with someone who can discuss this in more detail.

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Expert Services


Expert Services


fire-specific incident command at all levels (various course lengths)

With many serving members of Serve On having emergency and fire service backgrounds, Serve On can offer courses in incident command at all levels. All input is mapped to relevant fire and rescue service national occupational standards and other relevant standards such as those relating to working with other agencies within Local Resilience Fora. Courses can include:

  1. Level one two and three incident command for new and developing commanders at these levels
  2. Functional manager skills courses to support incident commanders
  3. Command support
  4. Incident command assessment

Course lengths will vary between one to three days depending on the level and content.


independent assessment services

Serve On can provide staff who are qualified and current in both assessment and internal verification. As such we understand the importance of basing assessment decisions on current evidence. Serve On can therefore provide an independent assessment service in those areas where we are knowledgeable of the relevant standards. We can use the same skills sets to carry out quality assurance or independent audit of an organisation’s internal processes and provide independent evidence based feedback.


risk management and risk assessment advice

Managing risk is key to ensuring both the health, safety and welfare of employees, and also for protecting an organisation’s core business and its reputation. Risk assessments will vary according to the risk, but the basic methodology is common across all applications. The course will cover the underpinning legislative framework and regulations, point delegates to sources of industry specific advice and guidance, and provide practical examples of completing and recording risk assessments in formats that are easy to follow and understand.


business continuity advice

To ensure continued business survival in a competitive world, it is vital to plan ahead to ensure those aspects of your business that are critical to its continuing performance are identified and planned for to ensure that risks to those processes are minimised and alternative means for delivering that service are in place. This one day course will provide advice on planning for business continuity, including how to manage events and ensure business disruption is kept to a minimum until normal activity is restored.


fire safety risk management advice and fire safety audits

Serve On can provide an independent fire safety audit service to provide you with assurance of your current safety systems or advise on where improvements may need to be made. Serve On does not carry out fire risk assessment. We believe the responsibility for ensuring the effective management of risk lies with the organisation. However, we can advise on those matters that need to be taken into account to ensure compliance with fire safety legislation.

critical incident management (1 day)

Critical incidents that may adversely affect an organisation’s business can occur at any time. Whilst Business Continuity Planning can go some way to anticipating and mitigating the effects of unwanted incidents, dealing with the incident itself requires a different set of skills. This course is aimed at those staff who are likely to be members of an organisational safety or emergency team, and their team leaders. The course concentrates on situational awareness, decision making, objective setting and planning, command and control and information recording for subsequent incident debrief.


multi-agency joint working for major incidents (1 day workshop)

A series of one day workshops set at command levels one to three and including post event debriefing. All input is mapped to relevant CCAG National Occupational Standards 1 – 4. The course prepares command staff from Civil Contingencies Act Category One responding organisations to work effectively and collaboratively with their colleagues from other organisations. The workshops can also be provided to Category Two responders within the Act and those voluntary agencies who work closely to support the statutory agencies in Local Resilience Fora during major incidents. With recent history of adverse weather affecting the UK, training to prepare staff has never been more necessary.
We can provide role players knowledgeable in all aspects of interagency work for exercises, training or assessment purposes.


design and facilitation of tailor-made critical incident exercises at all levels

Exercises can be designed for a variety of purposes such as staff selection, testing of existing procedures or as developmental activities. Exercises can include independent assessment of participants with feedback on that performance provided if required. We can provide a range of exercises tailored to your specific working environment. Content and duration will require discussion to ensure you are given a product that best meets your needs.
Working within your own organisation’s exercise procedures, Serve On can provide independent assessment of managers and leaders performances.


structured debriefing service for critical incidents

Whether an incident works out favourably or adversely, they are all opportunities to learn to ensure future events are dealt with more effectively and that lessons learned can be shared across an organisation. Such events could include not only critical or unplanned events but, for example, a successful award of a new contract, the lessons of how that success was achieved can be identified and reported across the wider organisation to inform organisational development. Serve On can provide an independent structured debriefing service which will include feedback and analysis on the event.


fire warden training (1 day)

A one day course to prepare staff to carry out the duties of a fire warden. This is NOT a fire risk assessment course. Delegates will be instructed on the nature of fires, how they develop and spread, the hazards posed by fires, fire extinguishers and methods of dealing with fire. The course will include instruction on inbuilt fire safety measures, both passive and active, evacuation strategies and methods for liaising with fire services and other relevant persons.

Leadership Development Training
Team building
Performing under Pressure
Technical Resilience Training: Fire Incident Command, Critical Incident Management, HEAT and HISC