Explanation of the ERT Search and Rescue Logo
The two outer circles represent a RESCUE ‘Life Buoy’ (the ring that is thrown from a ship or vessel) representing deployment and a ringed flotation device. This is also in recognition of the strong links with the water rescue community and their Marine Unit and the WATER aspect of SAR.
The circles and are also representative of the rotating blades of a helicopter as seen from above, representing the AIR aspect of SAR.
.The arrows represent the 4 points of the compass, the cross of Medical Aid and the converging points of a search to locate – at “X” – marks the spot. It also represents ever-closing circles of a search to pinpoint the target. This also signifies the LAND aspect of SAR.
If one looks carefully, it is possible to see the axes in white at the end of the crosses. These represent the TECHNICAL Aspect of SAR traditionally given to fire fighters and specialist rescue teams.
The name and function of “Emergency Response” and “Search and Rescue” is written around. The ERT SAR logo was designed and drawn by the founder Gary Foo – and was extrapolated from the original OSAR drawing which was drawn on 8th January 2003.
Added: Laurel Leaves (laurus nobilis)
Five years after the anniversary of their founding, laurel leaves were added to encircle the original logo. In Greek and Roman times, laurel leaves were woven into a crown and given to outstanding citizens who performed a heroic action. (Laurel leaves, also known as bay leaves, are infamous for their bitter, spicy taste found in many food dishes. Not only are bay leaves are traditionally used for cooking but also their medicinal value – and these represent the strong medical links with ERT SAR.)
This represents the the Search & Rescue community’s courageous and virtuous spirit.
Also, the leaves of a laurel grow together on trees or large bushes – representing the esprit de corp (Team Spirit) of the organization and the team ethic of their members.
All of these aspects were put on a background of a protective shape of a shield, which in a heraldic sense, represents the 'safety and protective' aspects of SAR. This is highlighted with their organization’s ERT Search and Rescue motto above: “… That Others May Live….”
The blue arrows and white “X” represent the SEARCH. The Outer two rings the RESCUE. The Axes and ropes the Technical Aspects of SAR and the Laurel Leaves, the TEAM approach and noble pursuits of their members – The ‘Motto’ at the bottom: “That Others May Live”
Founded 1st December 2002, ERT Search and Rescue was formerly known as "Oxfordshire Search and Rescue" or "OSAR." Whilst working in London during 2004 the team received many comments about "Why is Oxfordshire in London?" Although some charities from Oxfordshire, like OXFAM, work in London - it seemed strange to some to see that on the vehicles and on uniforms. Many thought that their Search and Rescue response was only in Oxfordshire.
In fact the ERT SAR response and membership, although Headquartered in Oxfordshire is actually a National and International one - so the name was changed from OSAR or Oxfordshire Search and Rescue, in 2006.
The name "ERT" or the "Emergency Response Team", was a suggestion from a Police Officer. So ERT Search and Rescue was born from OSAR and as ERT enters their 6th year there are many moves afoot to have teams not only all over the UK, trained and able to respond to the emergency services, but also abroad - with 3 country teams in application.