Marine 1

Henley on Thames, Oxon


2004 Boxing Day Tsunami

Rescue 41

Lord Mayors Parade, Oxford


was founded on 1 December 2002 by former Police Officer's and Professional Medics, Gary and Virginia Foo and Paul Giles in Henley On Thames, Oxfordshire, England.  

Photo of OSAR at the 2003 Lord Mayors Parade in Oxfordshire with (Lt to Rt) 

Paul Giles, Gary Foo, Dave McCain, Virginia Foo and Alex Uden.


We were based at the old "Thames valley Police Station in Henley on Thames. 

Although Gary and Virginia had extensive backgrounds in the emergency services as well as Search and Rescue, they sought support and training from other local County Teams and successfully applied for membership with the Association of Lowland Search and Rescue (ALSAR) which they joined in 2003. 

Our team; OSAR was sponsored in by dedicated SAR Leader / supporter, Mr Bob Barrett soon after our formation in 2002.  Bob was the Founder and Commander of Buckinghamshire Search and Rescue (BSAR) at the time an the local Course Examiner for the Basic Search Techniques Qualification Course, run under the aegis of ALSAR and BSAR.

Then in March 2003, several members of OSAR then successfully completed the ALSAR Team Leader Course which was offered by the Berkshire Search and Rescue Team (SEBEV) and taught by the highly knowledgeable and highly regarded, Search Expert; Mr Rob Bradley.  

ALSAR was quite small back then and the starting Leadership when we applied was Kris Manning as the Chair, John Dutton (NorLSAR) Vice Chairman was Andy Willamson (SEBEV SAR) Secretary; and our sponsor Bob Barrett (BSAR) Treasurer and  David  Hughes (WiLSAR) Training Officer, although we think that Mr Robert Bradley may have become the training officer.  We also spoke to The Mountain Rescue Teams in the UK as well as other SAR Teams internationally to network and grow our training and network base. Our intention was always to grow to provide national and international SAR and Medical services.

So, our UK team was originally founded and based in Oxfordshire and when officially founded in December 2002 was known as Oxfordshire Search And Rescue (OSAR). That was also the name registered with the Charity Commission, and the name we still have as an operating name. After all it was the location of the County the team was founded in and many original donors and supporters still know us as that.  (However, nationally and internationally we are also  known as ERTSAR (The Emergency Response Team SAR). 



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