National Team Leader’s Seminar

Today our Team Leader, Garry Rhodes attended the fourth annual National Team Leaders one day seminar, held at Preston. 21 Team Leaders and Deputy Leaders attended, along with the MRC Chairman and MRC Vice Chairman. (our Tldr reports numbers were down on previous years attendences).
Besides “informal” chats, the main part of the day centred around a series of presentations from some of those attending, as follows: Our National Chairman highlighted an apparent national issue of a lack of recruitment to MRT’s (and to other national voluntary bodies), plus the need to recruit more Doctors to the ranks of MRT’s. There were two team presentations from Teesdale and Weardale MRT, who successfully gained lottery support for a new team base, and from our close operational colleaques in the Oldham MRT.
Our National Statistics Officer, also the TL of Penrith MRT, gave a presentation on new guidelines for Incident Reporting, whilst the DTL of Brecon MRT highlighted their teams ” River Awareness Team “, utilised for waterside searches.
The relatively new in post Team Leader of Wasdale MRT, (3 1/2 years in post taking over from the previous TL who had been in post for over 20 years) gave a talk on the Trials and Jubilations of being a new Team Leader.

An overview of the new Governmental ” Structure and Co – Ordination of Search and Rescue in the UK ” document was given by the MRC Vice chairman, Tony Jones, who has done so much to get the just recognition of Mountain Rescue, both within the report and more importantly within Governmental circles.
Illustrating the tremendous technological advances now being made and utilised by MRT’s, was an extremely interesting presentation by the TL of Keswick MRT joint with the Co Ordinator for SARDA ( Lakes ), on the use of GPS and GIS systems for ( ultimately ) real time tracking of search parties and other resources during search operations and similar. Keswick MRT have now been refining this system for a number of years, and their tremendous efforts are now bearing fruition, with the recent use of their system on a search operation in Dent. (an interesting point raised during trials was that by plotting a dog and it’s handler over the same course around Skiddaw, they now have the proof that dogs do indeed travel twice the distance and at a greater speed, than their handlers !!!!).
All in all another interesting seminar.