The Oldham Weekend 2007

This is an annual course run by the Oldham Mountain Rescue Team on the first Weekend in May. It was developed to stimulate a cross brief of ideas throughout Mountain Rescue Teams and services. In 1981, the Oldham Mountain Rescue Team recognised their uniquely privileged position, of being able to develop their ideas on rescue techniques and equipment, through their close links with Troll Safety Equipment Limited with mutual benefit.

The weekend seminar now provides an ideal platform from which to demonstrate some of the systems and techniques used by the Oldham Mountain Rescue Team, to stimulate new ideas and encourage continual improvement.

Originally the course was only open to members of Mountain Rescue Teams both Civilian and Military in England and Wales as well as HM Coastguard Cliff Rescue Companies. However, in the past teams from Scotland and both Northern and Southern Ireland have also been invited. For the past few years the course has also been made available to members of all of the United Kingdoms Statutory Emergency Services (Fire, Police and Ambulance) with places being taken by several ambulance services

The course is aimed at Experienced Mountain Rescue Personnel, with reasonable rock climbing ability, as the seminar concentrates on a variety of cliff rescue techniques, including hillside exercises.

For this years course Team members Gyles Denn, John Parish & Neil Ramsbottom attended and here is their account of the weekend –

The weekend was attended by members of various organisations including
organisations outside of mountain rescue. Delegates came from
Co Kerry, Ireland, Longtown in Wales, Scarborough, Derby & Rossendale.
Delegates from outside of mountain rescue came from Thames Valley
Police, Devon and Cornwall Police & Holland Climbing Distribution

Participants in the weekend, out practicing their new found skillst.

On Friday night lectures were held at Oldham base by Dave Allport and
other members of the Oldham team. David’s lecture consisted of the
stresses and strains inflicted on ropes, slings and karabiners.

The exercise on Saturday was held in a small quarry on Saddleworth moor
where we had vertical lowers, single man rescues and a cableway set-up.
We took measurements of stresses on the cableway main ropes which linked
in to the lecture given by Dave Allport the previous evening. The
weather was kind to us on Saturday and our main concern was dehydration
and sunburn. The day finished at approximately 5.30 pm and we headed
off back to the bunkhouse for a superb three course dinner. In the
evening we had lectures again at Oldham’s base and the following day we
had totally the opposite weather. The exercise was held in Wilderness
Gulley with all the activities trying to be run in wet and windy
conditions. The cableway that was set up was approximately 350 mts from
one side of Chew Valley to the other. The vertical lowers and single
man rescues were held on Robin Rocks.

With thanks to Oldham MRT for the course introduction at the start of this news item.