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Safety concerns

We have been contacted by a number of team members this week. Different teams, other ends of the country, but the same story. Tales of bullying, corruption, illegality and the same old faces doing the same old things. We have been asked not to publish two of the stories, but they wanted us to be aware of them, and of course we will respect that.

Although we don’t really want to become a counselling service for traumatised SAR volunteers, we are happy to listen and sympathise where we can. And if you want to just tell us about things without it being published, then we will always respect that.

Some behaviour we have been informed of is quite clearly a police matter, the same names have cropped up regarding inappropriate sexual conduct towards female team members. We would urge those of you who have raised concerns to contact your local police or report via Crimestoppers. Young female Lowland Rescue & Surrey SAR team members need to be aware that there is a risk to them when attending LRFR courses or on callouts/training sessions. “Banter” is not an excuse for inappropriate behaviour.

What we really want to do is act as a portal for getting information out of teams and into the public domain. We know that a lot of the culprits seem to show no shame, but here’s hoping that shining some light on their behaviour may make it uncomfortable for them

As always, the volunteers – the people that give up their time, time with families and mental health are not our target. This site merely provides an outlet for those who know that bad practice is occurring, but don’t want to be thrown out of their team for saying so.

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Covert madness

This shows the absolute contempt the Trustees have for public safety and advice from the Police. They are now using unmarked cars with covert blues! The three Trustees were the only people who put themselves forward for driving courses and did a 5 day fire service course. This did NOT cover driving covert vehicles on blue lights which carries an increased risk which they are not trained or experienced with.

It is going to end badly. Paul Kenny, Steve Owen Hughes, Gavin Stevens and the PCC David Munro are all aware of the risks and danger yet not of them have the balls to do anything about it…. until Surrey SAR kill. The informal bet within Surrey SAR is still running that James Rossell will crash and kill first. Blues on unmarked cars makes it sooner rather than later.

This really does make a mockery of the NPCC advice and shows how ineffective Lowland Rescue and Gavin Pritchard are if they can’t control member units.

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Diary of a SAR Hero (Key Worker)

Today Seamus put up a post about us being recognised as ‘key workers’ on a fire station mural. I said that we weren’t really being honoured, but just that you can see a quarter of one of our Fleet of vans in the background of a photo of some firemen.

Jackie, my girlfriend, said that she was pretty certain that we weren’t on the official list of key workers too. But then she works in a hospital, so she can be a bit grumpy sometimes. Seamus pointed out that seeing as we had now expanded The Fleet to more than one vehicle per member, that we have a lot of keys to look after and so we did count. I’m so glad he’s running things, as I can be a bit of a ninny sometimes with this sort of thing.

Now the pubs are open, I put my dress uniform on and took The Interceptor down to the Peasant’s Arms in the village, to see if there was a key workers’ discount on Pint & Pie night. The landlord pretended he didn’t hear me and charged me full whack anyway – well at least he asked for quite a lot of money. The locals round the bar always snigger when I go in there, and he seems to charge me much more for my drinks than anyone else, but it is important to show the little people that heroes have downtime too. It’s a burden, but it’s just part of the enormous responsibility of my work. Just one man, trying to make a difference, one blue light run at a time.

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Another new car and more money for solicitors fees

Surrey SAR have a new car which isn’t needed by the team as history repeats itself again.

They plead poverty and beg for vehicles from David Munro (Surrey PCC) or the Chief Constable of Surrey Police who donate some great practical vehicles for SAR such as the Amarok or Defender. A short while later they then get a grant from an organisation, buy a new vehicle and flip the donated vehicles for cash. It won’t be long before this vehicle is sold and the begging letters are sent again. It’s not illegal, just immoral and misleading the donors as to their intentions over how the vehicle will be used.

This Volvo is not a practical vehicle for SAR yet it will be modified to police specifications which is crazy as they are not a blue light service nor an emergency service despite Seamus Kearns latest Guildford Lottery money request claiming they provide an emergency service.

The NPCC and Dept for Transport position is quite clear on the Lowand Rescue use of blue lights. This raises questions as to why are the DfT funding vehicles like this for Surrey SAR?

There are other organisations who could make better use of this vehicle such as transporting blood or a genuine blue light emergency service.

Surrey SAR have a huge amount of resources and many LR teams are envious of their assets. It is a shame the Trustees won’t donate older Surrey SAR vehicles to other LR teams who would be grateful to receive any vehicle. We know they won’t as solicitors fees don’t pay themselves and they are really running up the legal fees on irrelevant cases.

Sadly for us in Surrey we will no doubt see the Trustees hurtling from their homes in Hampshire and Berkshire on blue lights on their way to non urgent calls for SFRS in this vehicle whilst putting lives at risk as none are emergency services experienced drivers.

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Diversity Lowland Rescue style

This weekend saw another Lowland Rescue AGM and another missed an opportunity for change and to drive things forwards into the 21st century. The same old ineffective people are running this charity and they still have no control or influence over individual county teams. What is the point of them?

Sadly Gareth Pritchard is still the chair and still got his head stuck in the sand when it comes to problem SAR teams.

Apparently “Lowland Rescue are committed to supporting diversity”. Not sure we agree with you on that one Gareth, it is looking very white on that Committee & Trustee membership list. 2000+ operational & support members within LR and not one BAME person has a position in LR nationally.

Looks like it is not just Surrey SAR who have issues regarding respect for race and diversity, inviting a few women onto a management team doesn’t suddenly address the pale, male and stale attitudes that are dominant.

Neil Balderson likes a bit of PR and infographics, how about releasing one on the ethnicity of LR team members or is it too embarrassing as it shows how out of touch with society LR has become?

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Surrey SAR supporter “Appalled” at racism

Hopefully @johncoffey66 has figured out by now that as 5 days have passed and they still haven’t respond to him, they never will.

Seamus Kearns, James Turnbull and James Rossell all have their fingers twitching over the keyboard, ready to answer social media messages and post up how good they are and how they want money for being an “emergency service” but none of them will respond to messages like this as they raise valid questions and Surrey SAR Trustees don’t like being asked questions.

Why do Surrey SAR follow someone with views like @ReasonedUK? Good question. If they ever do respond then it’ll be some spin to divert the attention away from them. Don’t ever think of applying to join the team @johncoffey66 , you won’t get in as you have challenged them and they don’t like that for a start.

People should also question why there is only one BAME team member and why previous BAME have been treated adversely/ bullied out of the team. Racism and sexism are very real problems in Surrey SAR. There are plenty of screenshots we could post with Trustees/management making inappropriate comments.

There are other worthwhile Charities that deserve @johncoffey66 support, ones that do respect race and diversity. Surrey SAR are not worthy ……yet. The existing Trustees and Management Team need to be removed and start again from scratch. Surrey SAR is too broken to continue with credibility and integrity.

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Breaking News: SAR Monument

BREAKING NEWS. LOCAL NEWS LIVE
Breaking: SAR team to be honoured with monument.

 
In a move echoing the national emergency services monument, our local team will also be immortalised by local artist Crejinda Maltinwort. The statue, cast in bronze, will depict a group of overweight responders in ill-fitting jackets desperately fighting over a remote control unit as a drone crashes into a huge pile of cash. The cash will be stuffed in a military grade all body webbing system, sitting on the bonnet of a blue-lit liveried subaru impreza, as a barrister watches and rubs his hands in expectation of another futile legal case. A dog wearing a harness will bark randomly at passers-by to symbolise the high rate of missed targets. 

Team member Tim Heaton said “It’s about time we were honoured for our work, and hopefully it will result in a bit more cash flow. Sharp cars and legal fees don’t grow on trees you know.”

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Free food matters

Well done for the Spice restaurant in Virginia Water for providing the food, a very generous and thoughtful gesture.

Yet again Surrey SAR showing they are happy to take free food from Indians, just not have them as team members.

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The Ladybird book about the SAR Team

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Diary of a Rescue Hero: May 22nd 2020

Got a good blue light run in to Virginia water today, to rescue an old lady. I was at B&Q in The Interceptor, which is actually a bit further away so managed to blatt it across almost the whole county. Got there before everyone else too, #speed_demon.

I went to say hello to the SEBEV guys but they just looked sullen and  not especially pleased to see me. They perked up when the Salvation Army van arrived thogh. I’m guessing low blood sugar. Anyway, turns out she was still in the old people’s home, and they just didn’t count right when they did the rounds in the morning.

Seamus wrote a great post on the social medias though that made it look like we’d found and rescued her again, and we even got our picture on the SurreyLive website, so all round success. #justoneman #makingadifference #bluelightrun