Visit to LBH base by Evan Schumann, FEMA Program Manager, USA

Evan Schumann, a Program Manager with Ohio Task Force 1, State of Ohio Urban Search and Rescue, part of National Urban Search and Rescue Response System, FEMA, US Department of Homeland Security, USA, was a guest speaker at this years Mountain Rescue Conference, where he presented an excellent illustrated lecture on the terrible Hurricane Katrina disaster in the USA, with emphasis on the Response and Rescue Issues for the Rescuer.

Evan had been collected from Manchester Airport and taken up to the Conference by Bolton MRT team member Dave Healey, and he expressed an interest in visiting our base on his homeward journey.

At the conclusion of the conference Dave transported him to our LBH base, where team members had collected all our four vehicles and Control and Catering Trailers together (half are usually kept at our Bolton Fire Station base), to await Evan’s visit. Our Search Dog Handler Dave Marsh (with Search Dog Chi) was also on hand to greet Evan.

Evan Schumann, Craig Lamb & Garry Rhodes deep in discussion about all things SAR related.

Evan stayed at our base for three hours and his interest in UK Search and Rescue originating at the conference was furthered by meeting some of the Bolton MRT team members, including Search Dog Chi (who pestered Evan into, eventually, giving up his dinner sandwich to the much better cause of Chi’s stomach!) and having a look over our vehicles, base and search and rescue equipment.

Team member Andy Ryding shows Evan the contents of our First Response Landrover Ambulance.

Our Team Leader Garry Rhodes was particularly appreciative on a personal level for the very kind comments Evan delivered to him about the team and our friendliness, and also the support and kind personal words Evan offered Garry regards the many problems he faces as a Team Leader – they are not that different from issues faced in Evan’s own organisation back home.

Garry recieves two ’patches’ & a sweatshirt from Evan……

Evan’s visit to our Base concluded with our Team Leader presenting Evan with a BMRT summer shirt and baseball cap. In turn Evan presented Garry with badge ’patches’ of his organisation (which will go on display at our LBH base) and a FEMA Ohio Urban Search and Rescue Sweatshirt.

…. and Evan recieves a summer shirt & baseball cap from Garry.

Unfortunately Evan could only spend a very short time in the UK and is due to fly back to the United States tomorrow morning, so he didn’t get much chance to see anything except for the drive up to and down from Lancaster with Dave, but he enjoyed a meal in the company of Dave Healey and Dave’s partner Carol, at the Statham Lodge Hotel, Lymm, Cheshire, where hopefully Dave is not going to get too drunk as he is taking Evan to Manchester Airport to catch his flight first thing in the morning.

Update Evan made the Airport on time, he wishes to thank all members of BMRT for their kindness yesterday & looks forward to keeping in touch with all his new found friends on this side of the pond !! We look forward to seeing, perhaps the entire, Schumann family back over here soon.