GRANT funding has helped an Oxfordshire search and rescue team purchase a new state-of the-art vehicle to enhance their response to missing persons incidents.

The new Incident Control Vehicle has been kitted out with cutting-edge, search management technology, putting Oxfordshire Lowland Search and Rescue (OxSAR) at the forefront of search and rescue operations in the UK.

The van was partly financed by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks’ (SSEN) Resilient Communities Fund, and has been operational has already been used as part of the team’s rapid response to eight incidents across the central southern England.

The van offers the team increased space for vital equipment and two workstations for a search manager and an operations manager.

OxSAR chairman, Jonathan Stephenson-Paul added: "We are thrilled that our new state-of-the-art van, purchased with a generous SSEN grant is now operational.

"This has already made us more efficient, safer and improved our workflow.

"It has made a huge difference supporting the work and dedication of our outstanding volunteer team."

The team are called by Thames Valley Police in the event of a vulnerable missing person and can mobilise a team of volunteers within an hour.

The new vehicle then serves as an HQ for the search to allow better planning and management.

Applications for the latest round of funding from the Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks Resilient Communities Fund are now open.

For more information visit

The closing date for applications is Tuesday May 15, with awards being made in autumn 2018.