On Sunday 23rd January the team were called to the lovely Delapré Abbey in Northampton to search for a high risk missing person.
On arrival we were briefed that we were searching for a gentleman by the name of Manuel Lanzini who had stormed out from his parents home after breakfast that morning stating he had "had enough" and was going to "sort things out". As he had previous self harmed and had 2 previous suicide attempts, there was serious concern for his safety.
23 team members deployed to the RVP and quickly started a 'hasty' search of the immediate area around the car parks and Abbey. Whilst this was taking place, the search manager and planners created specific search areas where they believed the misper would most likely be based on typical misper characteristics. Once each team returned from the hasty search, they were each deployed to various areas of woodland and open fields in a 600 metre radius of the RVP to continue the search.
The drone team was also deployed to search some areas that were less accessible on foot.
After 2 hours of thorough searching we received a call to say that the misper had in fact returned home safely and all teams were asked to return to the RVP for a debrief.
However just as we were getting ready to depart, we were notified by a member of the public that a runner had taken a nasty fall and was injured in the vicinity. A first aid team was immediately deployed to the injured runners location whilst a second team gathered additional equipment that may be required such as a stretcher and hypothermia kit.
Initial assessment of the injured runner showed that she had sustained a nasty sprain to the ankle and was cold due to lying on the ground for 20 minutes before being found. She was conscious and otherwise pain free so the first responders quickly made her comfortable and provided an emergency blanket to raise her body temperature.
The second team then arrived with the hypothermia kit and used the casualty bag and heat packs to provide her with greater warmth. She was then transferred to a stretcher and carried out to the waiting ambulance some 400 metres away.
Whilst the above was a very realistic scenario, it was in fact a training exercise. We regularly use these mock searches to maintain and improve our core teams skills and also provide realistic training scenarios for our trainees before they are signed off and deployed onto real callouts.
Thank you to all team members for dedicating a cold Sunday morning to maintaining and improving our teams skills and to our 'injured runner' Sophie... hope than ankle heals quickly ;-)