Helping Hampshire’s Search & Rescue Heroes
Jonathan Dann, marine superintendent & deputy PFSO at Fawley Marine Terminal joined the 120 -strong search and rescue team as a volunteer after qualifying in October 2019. He has worked for ExxonMobil for the past 22 years, and now spends his time off as a volunteer search technician ready to respond to searches across Hampshire’s countryside, open land, woodlands, river courses and urban areas.
“As a search technician, we are essentially the foot soldiers of search and rescue,” Jonathan says. “It takes us between six and twelve months to train to a nationally recognised standard. When called out, we are under the command of a police search advisor and deployed to the area where the missing person was last seen. I volunteer on my days off, which are plenty as I am a shift worker,” he adds.
During the past year, the Hampshire Search and Rescue team has also assisted Hampshire’s COVID-19 Resilience Forum. As the pandemic emerged last year, the team helped to store and deliver PPE to healthcare and community locations including hospitals, GP surgeries and nursing homes. “We delivered 1 million items in support of Portsmouth City Council and the NHS over a four-month period,” says Jonathan.
But his volunteering didn’t stop there. Last Christmas, while the media was focusing on truckers being stranded at Dover Docks due to COVID and Brexit issues, the Hampshire Search and Rescue team were called upon to help keep Portsmouth International Port open. Jonathan explains: “We were asked to use our medical training to help test the lorry drivers for COVID-19. Following online training, we qualified to do lateral flow testing, and were deployed at the port for six days, 24 hours a day over Christmas and New Year, covering every ferry sailing to French ports. More recently, we’ve also been supporting the vaccination roll-out, assisting at the mass vaccination centres in Southampton, Basingstoke and Portsmouth,” he adds.
Jonathan clearly enjoys his volunteering and urges his ExxonMobil colleagues to consider it too. He says: “Volunteering can take many forms and you are provided with some great training opportunities. I would encourage my ExxonMobil colleagues to consider getting involved or to do a challenge to help us raise the £30,000 needed each year to keep the Hampshire Search and Rescue Service going.”
Email Jonathan at email@example.com to find out more.