In order to meet the requirements of the INSARAG Heavy Team classification, the UKISAR Team is composed of five operational functions. These are:
UKISAR Team Structure
There are currently 13 Fire & Rescue Services (FRSs) that support UKISAR and take their place on the duty rota. These FRS teams are divided into 2 rota groups working a 4-month cycle. The cycle involves periods of 'on call response' and off call.
Twelve of the member FRSs provide search and rescue teams to UKISAR, the thirteenth FRS, West Sussex, provide a logistics team for all deployments.
Teams currently on call and ready for immediate deployment:
West Mids Command and Control
West Sussex Logistics
Mid and West Wales
If a deployment takes place the ‘off call’ group steps up to become the ‘on call’ response for the remaining rota period and the following planned 4-month rota period before returning to being off call. One of the off call teams will also be nominated as a standby team for each four month period. They will be sent to the airport in the event of a deployment but will not be deployed onto the plane unless there is a problem with one of the on call teams that prevents them from being deployed (i.e. through being unable to reach the departure airport within the required timescale, having problems with passport, inoculation or medical records of team members or insufficient team members being available etc.). This provides resilience to each deployment and prevents delaying departure or deploying with a reduced team capacity.
Responsibility for the mobilising and co-ordination of the team once deployed alternates on the same 4-month rota between Hampshire and West Midlands Fire and Rescue Services. These FRSs mobilise when their search and rescue teams are off call and a communications centre to pass and receive information to and from the deployed team and the UK will be established. This centre will be in operation 24 hours-a-day during the period of the deployment. Typical tasks for this centre will be information dissemination to the FRSs providing team members, information feed to the off call teams and all the interested fire professionals and agencies, dealing with media enquiries and providing a single point of contact for the deployed team.