Bolton Mountain Rescue Team and British Red Cross sign Memorandum of Understanding in relation to services provided by the BRC Fire and Emergency Support Service. (FESS)

Further strengthening the relationship the Bolton MRT enjoys with the British Red Cross, this afternoon the team signed a Memorandum of Understanding in regards to making operational use of the British Red Cross Fire and Emergency Support Service. (FESS)

Our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE signed the MoU on behalf of the Bolton MRT, with Stephen Hagerich, Senior Services Manager, Emergency Response, (Lancashire, Manchester and Merseyside) signing it on behalf of the British Red Cross, witnessed by Ash Wilson, Emergency Response Co-Ordinator for the British Red Cross.

The signing took place at our Ladybridge Hall Base / HQ and follows much work done by the voluntary ’crew’ members of the FESS specialist vehicle and Stephen Hagerich of the BRC in liaison with the Bolton MRT.

Essentially what this MoU means to the team is that we can call upon the FESS specialist vehicle, to provide at our Mountain Rescue Search / Incident Control Point, a large degree of privacy, immediate temporary shelter, refreshments and the use of telephone and toilet facilities for the family and loved ones of persons who we are searching for or caring for in a protracted rescue incident.

Highly trained BRC volunteers will be on hand to crew the FESS vehicle and provide kind comfort and support to families and loved ones of the missing person or casualty, thereby freeing up Bolton MRT members and other emergency services personnel on scene to concentrate on dealing with the incident.

The Bolton MRT has been involved in a number of tragic incidents now where the family and friends of persons missing have been at the MR Control Point when unfortunately very sad outcomes have occurred, and the lack of somewhere immediately on scene (and private) where family and friends of the deceased can try to come to terms with such tragedy has often been lacking. (Through no ones fault)

Now with the ability to call upon the volunteer crew of the BRC FESS and its specialist vehicle, such situations can hopefully be dealt with in a more appropriate manner.

Stephen Hagerich of the BRC said; “We are looking forward to working with Bolton Mountain Rescue Team as it is important that the family and friends of those missing and being rescued get the help and support they need.”

Garry Rhodes MBE, our Team Leader stated; “In my many years service in Mountain Rescue I’ve often been closely involved with the immediate family of persons we are looking for, and sadly I’ve sometimes had to break terrible and tragic news to such people, often made worse by the lack of private facilities, comfort, warmth and shelter on such occasions. These issues can now be addressed on future such incidents by having the FESS vehicle on hand to provide a more appropriate environment at such sad and tragic times.”

A photograph and details of the BRC FESS vehicle appears on our ’news’ article dated Wednesday 12th November 2008.

(For related reports on our relationship with the British Red Cross, please see our website ’news’ items dated 13th September and 3rd August 2010, 4th November and 15th July 2009 and 12th November 2008)