Hampshire’s Technical Rescue Unit, was unique in the UK as the only independent broad-spectrum rescue service to work with local authority Fire Services, Police and Medical services.
This page was set up to replace the now defunct TechnicalRescueUnit.org web site. Its not a complete copy, but contains much of the existing text and information about the team. Galleries will be added to the page in due course.
Set up in 1989, the Unit was on 24 hour call out via Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service Control, the Unit specialised in rescue from difficult access risks, including high rise buildings, cliffs, chimneys, cranes, bridges, silos, aerials, tunnels, ducting and shafts, petrochemical tanks, excavations, ship holds, voids and cavities. Due to the extensive training given to the services, the Unit and Charity that supports it is slowly being run down and in time will be de-solved.
The team of highly trained specialists were able to support the existing emergency services with:
- Rope Rescue from high rise structures, deep shafts and confined spaces
- Confined Space Rescue from extremely confined spaces and hazardous atmospheres using long duration breathing apparatus and communications systems
- Trench Rescue & Structural Collapse using pneumatic shoring, lifting and stabilizing equipment
- Operational Support including animal rescue, heavy lifting, recovery, safety at height, suicide intervention, atmospheric monitoring and specialist cutting operations ( chainsaw &limited access ), storm damage support
- Advanced Medical Support – specially trained paramedics and doctors are able to access casualties in the most inaccessible of locations and provide advanced pre-hospital care until full retrieval can be initiated
The unit was comprised primarily of fire-fighters, augmented by specially trained paramedics and doctors who work closely with Fire Service crews at all incidents. As a recognised blue light response there was no charge for any service rendered by the Unit and no cost to the taxpayer. Substantial operational funding is provided by grants and major sponsors including the Daily Mail Group, British Telecom and ADT.
Unit members were and still are leaders in independent research into equipment and techniques which have proven of benefit to the international rescue community indeed Unit personnel regularly lecture at national and international conferences, workshops and seminars.
In order to maintain and enhance skills, Unit personnel carried out operational rotations overseas. This include working with such renowned services as KwaZulu Natal AEMS Medical Rescue, Boksburg Fire Department, and Johannesburg General Hospital in South Africa, Police Rescue Squad in Sydney and the National Parks Service in the US.
Due to support from the Daily Mail Group and its specialist rescue publications the Technical Rescue Unit had access to the most advanced equipment and training in the world and continuously updated and retrained to take account of modern developments.
This was a unique service within the UK which unfortunately due to substantial costs in maintaining skills and equipment, is unlikely to be duplicated (in its entirety) with in the current UK Brigade structures at county level.