Aug 23 2009
Over the course of this weekend, team member Elaine Gilliland attended a two day driver awareness course held by Lancashire Constabulary at their force HQ in Hutton, Preston, with a view to introducing Elaine to the techniques used in “blue light” driving.
To date the following Bolton MRT team members have attended the same course, Steve Fletcher, Paul Brain, Peter Heeley & Mike Higginbottom. Other emergency response drivers in the team have under taken similar training in the past with Greater Manchester Police.
On arrival at the Force HQ at Hutton, Elaine was met by PC Dave Bishop, the Instructor for day one of the course. Also attending were Keith Hotham, team member from Rossendale and Pendle MRT and Roy Rigby, team member from Bowland and Pennine MRT.
The following is Elaine’s report on the weekend:
After introductions, we immediately went into the first session which consisted of presentations about safety, leaving nothing to chance and hazards, a huge amount of information to take in with lots of questions asked by us ‘trainees’.
Next we moved on to the ‘system’ of driving used by the police to ensure the most appropriate approach is taken. After 2 hours of presentation and discussion, it was now time for a demonstration where Dave took the wheel providing constant commentary on what he was looking for and at, and the systematic approach.
After a short lunch break, it was our turn.
We all tentatively volunteered to go ‘first’, but as Rossendale and Pendle had provided the vehicle for our use this time, Keith was initially pushed to the forefront and took the first ‘stint’.
Old habits die hard……the afternoon allowed us two practice runs each and not only trying to recall all of the information we had been provided with that morning but trying to apply the system to our habitual way of driving proved challenging. By the end of the day, we had all successfully applied the ‘system’ and had also noted areas that we needed to work on.
After practising on the way home and on the way back to Lanconstab Force HQ, we all met with our instructor for day two, PC Andy Wild.
Again, the morning consisted of presentations and discussion on Emergency Response Guidelines and a demonstration with continuing commentary by Andy on a ‘blues and twos’ run. Fabulous……..
The afternoon was over to us once again and unfortunately for Keith, he again took the first ‘stint’. We all again had the ability to the practice the application of what we have been made aware of, each of us taking the wheel twice.
All in all the weekend was hugely successful with all of us gaining a Certificate of Achievement. A lot was learnt and a lot of fun was had in the process.
Bolton Mountain Rescue Team would like to take this opportunity to thank Lancashire Constabulary for giving our team members the ability to access the Driver Awareness Training Course and I would like to give a huge vote of thanks to PC’s Dave Bishop and Andy Wild for their patience and commitment and their excellent teaching over the weekend.