The second Sunday evening on the trot I was relaxing when the pager went off. It’d been a long wekeend anyway because I’d spent it with Sean in Aberystwyth, which is a 2 and a half hour trek up some interesting mid-Wales roads (each way).

Details were brief – a young chap, despondent, had disappeared and the Police were concerned. RV was a police station up in the Rhondda Valley near Pentre. So I pootled off out of the house determined this time to stop searching about 0300 so I could get enough sleep.  Diesel was low, so I made my way there without rushing particularly hard, up through Pontypridd, Porth and up the valleys. The rain was pouring down – I wasn’t able to go very fast safely, so I slowed right down and pushed the wipers to their limits. Of course, by the time I arrived it had stopped, so I quickly grabbed my kit and ran in.

I was shown into the conference room where I saw 2 people – Dave one of our team members and John Williams, a highly experienced police search manageThis was it as it turns out, I’d managed to beat the team vehicles, so I pottered around getting changed and trying to source some tea and coffee for everyone (a difficult task at 2300 on a Sunday evening in a police station). Huw arrived in the first response Landrover and Alpha turned up bringing its own supplies so finally refreshments were sorted.

By around midnight, we had enough information about the misper to decide on a course of action, and Dave was ready to get going, tasking in hand, when a message came through. We all piled quickly into the other room to find that the misper was no longer missing – the Ambulance service had picked him up already and taken him to hospital. Relief was evident on many faces to hear that he was safe, and we all returned to finish our coffees and wind down. I learned a lot about search planning by watching the experienced search managers gather information and fill in the gaps, formulating plans and theories as the information flowed in.  Much of this I can’t recount unfortunately as it would compromise the privacy of various people that we’d searched for as most of the learning points came from actual searches. It has however fired up even more of an interest in search managing in me.

I even managed to get to bed by 0300, so I had a reasonable night’s sleep. If only I could shake this cold…

Comments are closed.