Millbrook's Chosen Charity
The Community Rescue Service (CRS) was formed in late 2007 and now operates 9 bases across Northern Ireland with over 120 operational volunteers. CRS is the primary responder, on behalf of the PSNI, for the search and rescue of high risk missing people throughout Northern Ireland. We operate across all Lowland areas of Northern Ireland from between the high water mark and 2,000 feet. We responded to 289 incidents in 2017, which makes us the busiest volunteer organisation of our type in the UK and one of the busiest in Europe. If you have not heard of us before, this is because many of our taskings are related to a mental health condition including dementia, suicidal or self-harm intentions or learning difficulties which means that the missing person is at much higher risk than normal. This leaves us with a duty of care to that individual, which goes beyond searching for them and bringing them to a place of safety. While it is true that more publicising of our organisation would result in increased donations, the vulnerable adult or child always comes first, and the charity second. All of our operational members are trained to national standards as set by the Association of Lowland Search and Rescue (ALSAR), the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) and the National Occupational Standards agreed by Skills for Justice in relation to all aspects of searching for missing persons. Our members are also trained in other disciplines ranging from crisis intervention to first aid and some go on to achieve nationally recognised qualifications in powerboats, cycle response, kayak search and flood response. We continually strive to deliver a best in class service to our tasking agencies and our members go through annual revalidation of skills. Since 2012, CRS volunteers have been conducting weekly preventative safety patrols around the River Lagan in Belfast. This was at the request of the PSNI and Belfast City Council
following the death of Joby Murphy, who fell into the Lagan on 26th January 2012 after a
Snow Patrol concert. We have carried out over 600 of these patrols to date, every Friday
and Saturday night between 11pm and 4am.
Absolutely no one in the organisation, from our Regional Commander down to our newest SARTech (Search and Rescue Technician) is paid, and we rely on the amazing generosity of the general public and business to continue the work that we do. Each unit has operating costs of around £10,000 per year to pay basic bills such as fuel, heat and light. We realise that we are still in a time of economic recovery and that business are having to continually cut costs. However, we would be more than grateful for any gifts that you may be in a position to donate, whether that be monetary or in terms of goods etc.