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Essex Search and Rescue (ESAR) have been using Redtail Telematics vehicle tracking devices and accompanying app to help save lives…

Arthur finds life difficult these days.  Normal things no longer make sense.  There is a fog in his head that he can’t shake off.  It makes everything hard to understand.  The fog is frightening.  He doesn’t know what it is, or why it is there.  It never used to be like this.  Or did it?  He can’t remember.

Occasionally the fog clears and he remembers again.  Like he used to. 

He is happy and less fearful.  For a few seconds at least, he understands.   All too soon though, the mists swirl back in and he forgets.   Again.  The fog seems thicker now.  Things are even more confusing.

People he used to know well, are now only vaguely familiar.   He knows he should know them, but he can’t quite recall who they are.  You are one of them.  You remember Arthur as a strong, popular and happy man.  Now he is old, weak, vulnerable and, for the last three hours, missing.

Daylight is fading.  It is raining outside.   You wonder if he is getting cold.  Or thirsty, or hungry.   Where is he?  You know Arthur is afraid of the dark.  He never used to be.   Anxiety creeps in.  You feel deep down that something is wrong, very wrong.

Eventually, you phone the Police and report him as missing.  Are you already too late you wonder?

The Police patiently take down the details and try to reassure you that all will be well.

They decide that Arthur is at risk.  He needs to be found.  And quickly.

The Police assign as many resources as they can to look for him.  They call out a specialist volunteer Search and Rescue (SAR) team, who they know will respond immediately at any time of day or night.  The SAR team know how you feel.  They have felt the same as you in their own lives.  They gladly volunteer their time to look for Arthur and to help you.

The SAR team are on their way.

Some members get to the designated rendezvous point before their Incident Control vehicle arrives.  Time is of the essence.   Maybe Arthur is nearby and lying injured somewhere?  The SAR team want to organise rapid sweep of the local area, before the main search begins.

The incident control vehicle is equipped with a tracking device.   The SAR team know where the vehicle is by having access to an App on their phone. An initial sweep of the area can get underway, whilst having real time information as to when the incident control vehicle will arrive.  A support vehicle also arrives, ready to ferry personnel and essential equipment between the search areas. This vehicle also has a tracking device, allowing the SAR team to see the exact position of the vehicle at all times during the search.

After several hours of searching, Arthur is found.  Alive but very cold, wet and hungry.  Another life saved.  All is well. For now.


Redtail Telematics is proud to support Essex Search & Rescue (ESAR), one of the 2019 recipients of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service by providing vehicle tracking devices and an accompanying Mobile App.

Tony Allen, CTO Redtail Telematics and volunteer Search Technician.

About Essex Search and Rescue


In 2018 ESAR was called out 93 times, primarily within Essex but sometimes assisting other search & rescue teams in neighboring counties. It is a member of Lowland Rescue, a network of voluntary search & rescue teams covering those parts of the UK not served by Mountain Rescue teams.

ESAR is a registered charity (1096661) founded in 2002. It is run entirely by volunteers and is on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to work alongside the full-time emergency services to assist in the search for vulnerable missing people, such as people living with dementia, potential suicides, children, etc.