Planning now well advanced, for this years Foundation Course in Mountain Rescue

Each year the Bolton team organises a residential weekend training course joint with other Mountain Rescue and Search & Rescue Teams, aimed at the trainee members of the respective teams, most of whom are in their first twelve months of voluntary search and rescue service.

For the third year running now, this years course is being hosted by the Bolton Team, based at the excellent facilities of the Bolton Scout District, Bibby’s Farm Scout Camp and Activity Centre, on the western fringe of the West Pennine Moors.

Scheduled for next weekend, commencing on Friday evening 12th October with an extensive programme running through to Sunday afternoon 14th October, the course will involve indoor lecture and training sessions combined with outdoor exercises.

So close to the event, the planning and organisation of such is now obviously well advanced, including the annual update of the comprehensive course training manual.

Some of the course content will be new to the members attending, whilst other parts will serve to consolidate their knowledge already gained within their own teams.

Thirty Trainees, men and women are attending in total with 11x from our team, 9x from North East Wales Search and Rescue Team who are our long standing MRT colleagues from the North Wales Mountain Rescue Association, and trainees from two teams in our sister organisation the Association Of Lowland Search and Rescue, namely Cheshire Lowland Search and Rescue Team (6x) and Staffordshire Search and Rescue Team (4x)

The core group of very experienced instructors is drawn from the Bolton Team and the above teams taking part, alongside others from Rossendale and Pendle MRT and Calder Valley SRT.

Other lecturers and instructors are attending from Greater Manchester Police, the Forensic Service and the North West Ambulance Service (Greater Manchester Area) Weather and operational circumstances permitting the Air Support Units of Greater Manchester Police and Lancashire Constabulary will also be attending.

Our team will be providing full support for the weekend, with members of our Support Group providing all the course catering, (no small task feeding the 42 team members in full time residence over the weekend) with other Bolton team members being on hand to assist with the exercises planned.

On Saturday afternoon the trainees group will be in the Rivington Moor Quarry and Noon Hill areas practising steep ground stretcher handling work, with a whole morning through to early afternoon on Sunday being taken up by a series of ’mini exercises’ based around the Lower House area and slopes of the adjacent Terraced Gardens at Rivington.

This intensive weekend course is well received every year, and this year has attracted a much larger number of trainees. (Please see the website news entries for October 2005 and 2006 for details of the last two Foundation courses held at Bibby’s Farm)

So if you are out and about in the Rivington area next weekend and see lots of MRT and SAR members and vehicles about then wish all the members well with their successful completion of the weekend course. (And spare a thought for all the instructors and lecturers who have given up freely of their weekend to pass on their knowledge and experience to the newer members attending)