Greater Manchester Police / Mountain Rescue Awareness Day.

Today the three principle MRTs which operate within Greater Manchester held a Mountain Rescue Awareness Day for Greater Manchester Police Officers, hosted and organised by the Oldham Mountain Rescue Team.

The idea for today stems from the established long standing close relationship that exists between Bolton MRT, Rossendale and Pendle MRT and Oldham MRT and GMP Officers, primarily their Missing Person Search Managers, and the realisation recently that awareness of the MRTs by these Officers was centred obviously on our search work with little known about our rescue equipment and other capabilities.

Commencing Friday evening with an introductory talk on Mountain Rescue by Peter Hyde, Deputy Leader of Oldham MRT, this was followed by a social at the Cross Keys Inn, immediately adjacent to which is Oldham MRTs base / HQ, quite who won the ’who got to bed the latest competition’ was undecided due to the lack of a sober judging panel !

This morning saw the arrival of more team members from Oldham, Bolton, Rossendale and Pendle MRTs to begin the days sessions in the fields surrounding Oldham’s base / HQ and in the car park of the Cross Keys Inn.

The eleven GMP Police Missing Person Search Managers present were first given a talk and demonstration on the use of dogs in Mountain Rescue, including air scenting and trail dogs.

This was followed by three presentations by each of the MRTs present:

  • Oldham MRT demonstrated their steep ground rescue capabilities.
  • Rossendale and Pendle MRT, with their excellent newly donated former GMP Control / Kit carrier vehicle present, gave a practical demonstration of GPS tracking technology, when GPS enabled radio equipped Bolton MRT members were told to go and wander in the local fields !
  • Our team gave an overview of personal equipment carried by MRT members, and then moved on to the search and rescue equipment typically in use with MRTs in Greater Manchester, with much talk on MR stretchers, casualty bags and casualty shelters.

A lunchtime break saw everyone present enjoying an excellent meat and potatoe pie and chips lunch in the Cross Keys Inn, courtesy of GMP.

During the day we were also given a demonstration by Dave Allport of Oldham MRT and SAR Products of the successor to the Troll Alphin MR Stretcher in the form of the SAR Alpine MR Stretcher, with its very lightweight, simplicity of design and ease of use impressing all present.

The conclusion of this awareness day mid afternoon saw everybody present agreeing that the day had been a total success, with a much greater awareness of the capabilities and resources of MRTs present now held by the GMP Missing Person Search Managers who attended.

It is hoped that this format will be repeated on a yearly basis, to further consolidate the the excellent relationship between GMP and Bolton, Oldham and Rossendale and Pendle MRTs. Note two members of Glossop MRT also attended on Friday night and Saturday morning.

Finally for those who observe these things, an inter team ’group mill’ developed at one stage between Bolton and Oldham MRT members, newer members of our team were introduced to the standard ’team mill,’ and yet again in a corner of the car park Andy Simpson, Garry Rhodes and Mick Nield, the Team Leaders of RPMRT, BMRT and OMRT were seen chatting away in perfect harmony !

Thanks to Mick Nield, Team Leader of Oldham MRT for organising and arranging this excellent day, and Friday evening, and to GMP for funding the overnight accommodation, breafast and lunch.