November New Team Member Recruitment Intake, Practical Day – Update

Following on from this mornings update, the bright and clear day held out for the entire day. The sixteen expected this morning actually resulted in fifteen turning up.

The fifteen potential new members were joined by twenty three existing Full Team Members, to give the potential recruits a taste of what being in the team is all about!

The day started with a session covering personal hill kit and team issued kit items, followed by short practical ’hands on’ demonstrations of our Bell and Troll Alphin Mountain Rescue Stretchers. Our medical and trauma kit items were then covered, followed by a demonstration of Trainee Mountain Rescue Trail Dog Boris by his handler Steve Nelson.

All then moved on to the first hill exercise. This was a navigation and fitness exercise, with all members given a checkpoint to find and reach within a given time limit, centred on Winter Hill.

After a spot of lunch all then took part on to the first stretcher exercise of many during the day, on the lower slopes of Winter Hill. All then become very familiar with how wet the track is from Wards Reservoir, Belmont back towards High Brow Car Park, with one group using a Bell stretcher, the second group using a Troll Alphin stretcher.




Above High Brow Car Park




Great Gutter Gully




Demonstrating the use of smoke




The stretcher carry




Having long legs has its advantages!




Pointing the way




The final stretch to the vehicles

Next all moved to Hordern Stoops to carry out a stretcher evacuation of two exercise casualties from Winter Hill Flats.




Casualty care on Winter Hill Flats




Fighting with the tussocks of long grass




Was it really this much fun?

The final exercise was a re-enactment of a previous incident, based in Anglezarke Quarry.




Extracting a stretcher from Anglezarke Quarry

All members then returned to our Ladybridge Hall Base / HQ, for a full debrief on the day, constructive comments, and to hear the news that the decision had been taken to accept all as Probationary Team Members and a welcome into the team membership on this basis.

At the end of their day all the persons interested in joining the team who had taken part during today were asked on a de-brief sheet to briefly pass comment on Thursday evening November 4th and today.

There follows a selection of their comments, firstly regards the Thursday evening session;

  • “Well presented evening, lots of information given out.”
  • “Informative and enjoyable.”
  • “A very open and frank presentation of what commitment is required if you want to be a member of Bolton MRT.”
  • “The emphasis on commitment was put over in no uncertain style.”
  • “Very motivating.”
  • “Excellent, an eye opener. Informative, relaxed and friendly.”
  • “Very interesting to find out about the mix of incidents BMRT are involved in.”

Regards today’s session and the exercises, comments included;

  • “Working as part of a team.”
  • “The team work and learning something of the skills that are needed, plus getting to know the current team and the great spirit that is very evident amongst them.”
  • “Finding muscles I didn’t know I had !”
  • “Enjoyed getting muddy !”
  • “It was all enjoyable.”
  • “Top day, thanks.”
  • “Enjoyed meeting the members of Bolton MRT.”

Finally here are a selection of comments regarding their overall impressions of this November Recruitment Session ;

  • “Has made me even more keen to become a part of it all.”
  • “The Team were very supportive.”
  • “Excellent and fun.”
  • “Both were excellent sessions, with a massive learning curve.”
  • “I now know I have a lot to learn.”
  • “Both days were brilliant, and gave an excellent insight into what Bolton Mountain Rescue do and an understanding of just how much hard work goes in to what they do.”
  • “Feel more motivated than ever in to wanting to join the team.”
  • “Thank you to all the team members who turned out to help, it made me realise how much hard work the volunteers put in.”
  • “Lots of information, very enjoyable.”
  • “A very good taster of things to look forward to.”
  • “A very good overall insight in to the team.”
  • “Two excellent days, very professionally run.”
  • “Brilliant !”

Of course we could not finish the report on today without mentioning some of the exploits of our own team members, including the “Who ate all the meat pies” bunch in Bolton Mobile 2 (Mark Scott looked particularly guilty), more very rare sightings (Confirmed) of our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE actually carrying a Mountain Rescue Stretcher (Webmaster; though not for very long), Samantha McKay playing a slightly too convincing wife of Stephen Kenworthy whilst both were acting out the role of ’Exercise Casualties,’ the tale of how our Training Officer Elaine Gilliland acquired her ’Bond Girl’ name of ’Elaine Wednesday,’ and Steve O’Hara becoming today’s ’Peat Bog Snorkeling Champion’ when he proved to all present that man cannot walk on water and certainly cannot walk on a four foot deep boggy peat pool !