Feb 24 2008
Following this years membership intake, which included appeals in the local press for new members, we had a total of 49 applicants, inclusive of 5 from women.
Overall the standard of initial application was very high.
From the 49 applicants 19 people took up the invitation to attend our Thursday evening and full day Sunday sessions. (to clarify all 49 were invited to these sessions but only 19 responded).
From the 19 expected on Thursday 21st February 14 people actually attended.
Our Thursday session involved 9 call out list members, with our Team Leader and Training Officer presenting a full overview on the role of the team and what is expected of new members.
These presentations took the form of video and power point shorts, with thanks to team members Steve Fletcher and Dave Healey for producing such excellent material to illustrate what Bolton MRT is all about.
The full Thursday evening session was broken up by an excellent buffet provided by our catering officer Chris Tennant assisted by team members Joanne Stones and Sue Purtill.
The applicants present also undertook a series of short written tests to establish their hill experience and navigational abilities.
The evening ended with beer, wine and soft drinks being offered to all present, finishing off the buffet and informal question and answer sessions from the applicants to the team members present.
Today (Sunday) out of the 14 invited from Thursday, 10 applicants actually turned up to join 23 current call out members of the team to complete a series of practical training exercises in the team area to further show what the team is about.
Commencing with a scored review of their personal kit followed by a display of kit the team issues to individual members, the applicants quickly moved on to the next session.
Garry (TL) and Andy (TO) explain the various types of stretcher used within an MR environment
This entailed a briefing and a demonstration of the stretchers they would be using later in the day at LBH. All then congregated at Hordern Stoops for a fitness test, climbing to the summit of Winter Hill, followed immediately by a stretcher evacuation exercise, a brief lunch stop and then a 1 hour solo navigation exercise.
The potential new members get to grips with using the stretchers “in real life”.
With no one lost on the navigation course! all relocated to Lower House car park where the potential new recruits carried out a difficult extraction exercise in a steep sided gully working directly alongside team members.
The final exercise of the day took place within Anglezarke quarry, performing a reconstruction of a recent incident (see incident 20/2008).
The stretcher arrives near to the top of the quarry
Preparing to raise the stretcher out of the quarry using lots of people and a safety/haul rope
After a long day all returned to LBH for the inevitable cleaning of landrovers and a debrief.
Overall we would like to place on record the high standard of all of the applicants who attended today (how 49 became 10!)
Our Team Leader, Garry Rhodes, and Training Officer, Andy Ryding, taking on board the comments and observations of other team members present on the Thursday session and today, now have the difficult task of selecting a small number of applicants to join the team as probationary members.