Oldham Weekend 2009

An annual event run by the Oldham team on the first weekend in May. The Oldham team started this event in 1981 when the 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.

Over the weekend of 1-3rd May 2009 team members Chris Greenhalgh, John Parish and George Pike journeyed to Boarshurst Outdoors Pursuit Centre to take part in the Oldham weekend.

Team member Chris Greenhalghs account of the weekend follows-

This is a residential course ran by Oldham Mountain Rescue Team for a number of years now, and was introduced to stimulate an exchange of ideas throughout mountain rescue and other emergency services. This weekend seminar demonstrates some of the systems and techniques used by the Oldham Team, to stimulate new ideas and encourage continuous improvement.

Alongside ourselves, there were collegues from Western Beacons MRT, Kinder MRT, Rossendale & Pendle MRT, Longtown MRT, Ogwen Valley MRT and Outward Bound SART as well as members of Greater Manchester Police missing person search advisors, Metropolitan Police Marine unit and bomb disposal team. The furthest travelled award goes to two members of Netherlands Rescue who also joined us for the weekend all the way from Holland.

Throughout the weekend, we were shown elements of setting up safe anchors and the use of various different knots and pieces of equipment, with safety being a priority at all times. The four main types of rescues covered were single-man rescue, strop rescue, horizontal stretcher lower and horizontal stretcher rescue via a cableway. The highlight of the weekend for most people, apart from the rhubarb crumble and custard, was the spectacular 600 ft cableway stretcher rescue across Wilderness Gulley in Chew Valley, Saddleworth. The weather for the weekend luckily remained dry and even sunny at times but very cold and windy, making some of the rescues very interesting.

On the Saturday evening following the meal we headed to Oldham MRT base for a slideshow and then in to the Cross Keys Pub for a few well earned drinks and a socialise. The weekend finished on the Sunday evening with a debrief and group picture before returning to Boarshurst to pack and leave.

We would like to thank Oldham MRT for organising and hosting this event which was very well organised and very informative. We would furthermore like to thank the catering team, friends and family of Oldham team members, for all their effort in the kitchen and for their fantastic menu and quality food served with a smile.