In charge of the search, the Controller works with the police to devise areas and tactics for each search based on what information can be provided.
The Search Controller is responsible for recording everything which happens on a search and liaising with other agencies including the Ambulance Service, HM Coastguard and Fire Brigades.
Our Search Controllers must have been operational Search Technicians and have undertaken additional training in Missing Person Behaviour – the statistics which help us narrow down the likelihood of people being in particular areas – and advanced search management.
Our Search Controllers currently work from two quick-erect tents which we can deploy from our Land Rover response vehicle in minutes. We have a portable generator so we can run laptops with mapping software, and print off information for our teams on the ground.
We often deploy our later-stage Trainee members to assist our Search Controllers and build their understanding of how to manage a search based on live experience, which we find is hugely beneficial when the Trainee becomes operational.