New Member Information Page (NMIP)
This page is designed to give you some answers to FAQ, we hope it helps, if you feel that there is a question missing please do not hesitate to ask.
How much do you charge members to join?
There is an annual membership subscription, which covers member insurance and admin processes behind the scenes currently it is currently £31 per year. (April to March) Anyone joining mid-way through a year will be charged pro rata, e.g. a September recruitment would be £15.50
How much is training and equipment?
We do not charge our members to undergo professional training courses as we believe people giving up their time should be able to enjoy it without financial worry.
Equipment is funded by the organisation including any personal issue kit.
We do ask that members actively support fundraising, in accordance with the member disclaimer
Is there anything I could have to pay for?
There could be sometime a small cost associated with social activities, as these are not always covered by the main funding.
Alcohol is sadly not covered by the main funding, often there are beer or wine funds running on activities or events.
You might have to pay for your travel to get to a point, where possible lift shares and WSART vehicles will be used.
You might be asked to contribute towards food on an activity, e.g. fish and chips at a social event
We are committed to making the whole process self-funded in line with the unit policy.
How does the team, region, hubs and unit work?
We operate as one large “team”, all trained to the same standards, and all the equipment is the same.
The team is split into 8 Regions across the UK, in a region is several hubs, and then we have a number of operational Units, in the hub
Each Unit is designed to be fully functional response operation, backed up by units in the hub, and neighbouring hubs and regions can also support in times of major incident.
It also allows us to manage the operational cover across the UK
How does training work?
Each member is required to attend a regular training time each month.
The training programme is designed around a mix of eLearning, Physical training in a variety of locations around the UK, to get an understanding of water conditions and local knowledge.
Every three months a full team training session takes place.
How does qualification training work?
Depending on the course, we work alongside the training providers or in house where we can certify, each course has different areas of training.
Our water training programme is a 10 day course, that covers all the requirements to be a Water Rescue Technician, the course can only hold a small number of participants at a time, so we have to run a waiting list for places on the course.
For members to be able to go on the Water Qualification they must hold QA Level 3 Certificate in First Response Emergency Care (RQF) qualification or a QA recognised equivalent and must be working towards or have completed the QA Level 4 Certificate in First Response Emergency Care (RQF).
As a team we provide opportunities for members to gain the prerequisites along with other qualifications.
How does the on-call system work?
We run a system called D4H, where you can mark yourself Not available, and each hub lead will make sure there is enough cover in your area, using other units locally.
What’s the commitment level?
We ask all members to give as much as they possible can, we understand that each week people lives change, family and work commitments so we are flexible, we have found that by this approach members feel more involved.
Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain lover for one another – Erma Bombeck
There is a training and equipment disclaimer that asks for some levels of support.
We ask members to commit to E-learning, Team calls, as required, and monthly training, as well as professional qualification training.
What does the WSART expect of us?
WSART expects all members regardless of role, rank or qualification to work as a united team, with the view to support those around us that may need the extra level of support.
“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.” – Jimmy Johnson
We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop – Mother Teresa
What sort of things we can be called out to?
WSART can be called out to support the following areas:-
Missing person searching around the water environment
Retrieval of bodies and evidence from the water
Rescue of people trapped in and around the water
Local and Major Flooding
Major Incidents were support is required
How often we could get call outs or be needed to help?
The call outs vary from unit to unit and depending on the level of operational cover operated.
Each hub lead will work out the availability for the coming weeks, and manage cover using data provided to us with resilience planning.
How do we fit with other public sector organisations and volunteer search teams?
We are here to support both the professional services of Police, Fire and Ambulance, and also to support our colleagues in other volunteer organisations.
We will not operate on land, mountains, caves, costal, unless called into support the needs of the volunteer agencies in their field of expertise.
Our operational area is water and within close proximity of water.
What is a DBS check?
A DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check is an in-depth background check used by employers on behalf of applicants to verify if a candidate is suitable to hire for work in a specific industry.
I already hold a DBS / I’m on the update service, do I still need to complete a fresh application?
Yes, all members are required to complete a fresh WSART DBS, as we cannot accept other organisations DBS.
What is the recruitment process?
The member sends an initial interest form in, where the membership team send out a Main application form which has to be returned by a set date, as indicated in the Initial Member email.
On receiving the main application form back, we carry out member interviews, referencing, and DBS check.
Members are invited to attend a meet the team and selection day, where we the final selection of candidates takes place.
Newly selected members will be invited to a Team Day induction.
The team does receive a huge amount of interest, as such we can only recruit a small number at a time, and not everyone will be selected, any one not selected will be able to re-apply at the subsequent recruitment periods.