Off-road driving – Lancs Fire

On Friday (and also Saturday 8th November), the team was invited to join a Lancashire Fire & Rescue Service four-wheel off-road driving update course for active fire-fighters. Darwen is fortunate to use one of the three fire service Landrover vehicles in Lancashire; each fire-fighter is required to follow a regular off-road training or refresher day. Fire-fighter Pete Byron was the instructor for the course, Ged Clarkes report follows.

At 09:00 BMRT members met at Darwen Fire Station for coffee, this was followed by a short video on off-road driving techniques. Following a standard vehicle inspection the party departed to the first off-road training area at a farmer’s field (clay pit) less than a kilometre from the fire station. The party inspected the route only to discover that many of the sections were still too wet to make the activity feasible. Pete Byron provided a valuable and informative commentary of the various hazards. Glen Trobe (“trainee driver”) then took the party on a drive from Sunnyhurst to Darwen Tower stopping as directed by Pete to demonstrate a range of hill climbing and descending skills. The party then returned to Darwen for a substantial meal generously prepared by Victor.
After lunch Glen then drove to the third venue for the day, Wheelton Plantation (Brinscall). Here the terrain was steeper and the party enjoyed a couple of hours testing the ability of the Defender. The Defender could not be faulted and the party was able to experience the vehicle in its rightful domain. Before returning to Darwen, Pete gave the party an awareness drive in the Heapy/ White Coppice area.
We are most grateful for the support of Lancashire Fire & Rescue Service in providing this excellent training/experience opportunity for BMRT members. We look forward to working with Pete Byron and his colleagues in the future.

Steph Holt & husband Jon, share a joke on the Lancashire Fire & Rescue Service off road course .