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Published: December 15, 2016

One of the world’s leading specialist rescue and recovery services, Specialist Group International (SGI), is continuing its long-standing relationship with Pilgrims Group by training its teams at the new Academy.

SGI is known for its work in demanding and dangerous environments, whether rescuing victims from floods, confined spaces, tower cranes or safely cutting down protesters from tree tops or buried deep in tunnels. Specialist Group International’s diving teams carry out underwater search and recovery for the emergency services.

“We employ nearly 40 staff and are phasing in a further 20 people over the next six to eight months,” says SGI founder Peter Faulding, who has worked closely with Pilgrims CEO Bill Freear since the 1990s. “The new, modern training facility at Redhill not only replicates an urban environment, such as a street or housing estate, but recreates the noises and even smells that you may find – a fire or a decomposed body. It’s very useful for trainees to know what they may come across in future rescue operations.”

Equally importantly, he adds: “The centre is especially useful on a wet or inclement day, when we can do realistic training indoors and keep our kit dry.” SGI is currently using Pilgrims Academy about twice a month, training 14 or 15 staff at a time.