Development of operational activity:

Starting with nothing but enthusiasm and a visionary desire to put something back into the local community, the Team now has the equipment and training to fulfil its aims and objectives. The Team has a trailer, in which all the safety equipment (including two inflatable rescue boats) is kept.

The Team signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Lothian & Borders Police in 2003, and is now regarded as a partner agency, on the same footing as the two local mountain rescue teams within the force area. The Team received "forensic input" training from Lothian & Borders Police as part of ongoing development, in 2006.

During the autumn of 2012, seven Team members underwent three days of training to become Rescue3 accredited Swiftwater & Flood Rescue Technicians (SRTs). Since then, the number of SRTs has increased and most other members are accredited First Responders.

These operational SRTs are now capable of providing a fast response swift water rescue service. All Team members can complete riverbank and shallow water missing persons searches, and most are capable of acting as control / liaising with other agencies. Many existing members have been in the Team since its inception. With the plans to expand the Team and its serviced area, recruitment is a priority. More SRT training will follow when funding is available.

Further developing the Team to include both more operational members and new support members is required. This has become more important following the transition to single police and fire & rescue services in April 2013, where the volunteer sector are now expected to contribute more.


Please download and complete the above Application Form and Health Disclaimer, and post to:

The Secretary
Borders Water Rescue Team
9 Hadden Cottages
Sprouston, Kelso


There is a pyramid callout system in place for the active members of the Team. This allows the management to co-ordinate the various skill sets in the team appropriate to the action required. Team members gather at an agreed meeting point and are deployed following consultation with any other agencies involved. Any deployment of team members is subject to risk assessment, and to the generosity of employers allowing time off.

Joining the Borders Water Rescue Team:

We have an equal opportunities policy for all members, but require a minimum age of 18 years. Anyone wishing to consider joining the Team should contact the Secretary for an application form - there is no membership fee, but active Team members are expected to keep themselves fit and be able to swim to a reasonable standard. We also have roles within the Team for non-operational members, which include fund raising and communications.


All Team members need to commit to regular training, dates for which are circulated well in advance.