Our Cyprus Search & Rescue Team, (Non-governmental organization and the only volunteer SAR organization in the country), has been in the process of
establishing a training schedule for 2008 in the field of water rescue and recovery operations, as well as in the field of mountain rescue, in our effort to improve our operational capabilities as well as to receive training in areas where very little training if any is available locally.

Since our team is a new team we do not have the experience to organise it in an optimum way. We would like to have your opinion / advice on the following:

1. Our structure. The team has sub-teams of rescuers with different competencies and foundations. At least this was the initial vision. Divers with mountain rescuers in the same sub-team. Is this practical? Is it good for training or for operations or what? Should the Cyprus SAR in your opinion have different teams of specialists and train them on how to co-operate in a variety of missions or should we continue with mixed-teams where there is no specialisation? What do you do in your team?

2. Training Meetings - How often? We have two lines of training that are con-current. One is for dive rescue and one for mountain rescue. Rescuers are supposed to meet 7 times per month (2 theory days for diving, 2 theory days for mountain rescue, 1 practice day for diving, 1 practice day for mountain rescue, and one excercise day where all members are participating). Some people find this too much. How about your training frequency and structure?

P.S. Please note that our team members are all volunteers. There is no compensation in any way and all the expenses of training are currently covered by the members. There are no funds.