Nov 16 2011
At the very kind invitation of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, two team members, Steve O’Hara and Team Equipment Officer Nick Berry today attended a joint water training activity with firefighters from GMFRS.
Meeting at GMFRS Leigh Fire Station for an 08.00hrs departure, this full days training event took place at Llangollen, North Wales, with all present undertaking the training resulting in a ’Rescue 3 Swiftwater Responder (1st Level)’ recognised qualification.
There follows below an account of the day by Bolton MRT Team Equipment Officer Nick Berry:
“We arrived early in the morning just before 08.00hrs at Leigh Fire Station to be greeted by eight GMFRS firefighters who were also taking part in the days course.
Travelling together in a Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service Minibus, we journeyed down to the Whitewater Activity Centre in Llangollen, North Wales.
Upon arrival two other GMFRS personnel turned up, making a total on the course of twelve including ourselves.
Starting with what else but a welcoming brew we were provided with our PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) water gear, with the Course Trainers Austin Lewis and Andrew Topping ensuring we were all happy with the PPE kit and that our initial questions were answered. (Both Austin and Andrew are Rescue 3 Water Trainers for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service)
The water was freezing (no surprises there then) but with all the fun everybody was having combined with the very informative training and encouraging comments from the instructors, nobody seemed to mind,
Throughout this fantastic day, we learned numerous techniques from safely crossing rivers to inflating fire hoses with air (always thought you only used these to fire water at fires, how wrong was I) so you can use the hoses as a floating guide line across rivers and other water bodies.
Other topics covered included ‘reading the river’ to rigging lines for crossing and equipment hauling.
The food provided by the Whitewater Activity Centre in Llangollen was excellent along with the hot showers and facilities provided at the Centre.
Course Trainers Austin Lewis and Andrew Topping are both a credit to Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and are very highly skilled and motivated, their training methods were informative and interesting, and at the end of this very comprehensive course everybody commented on how much they had thoroughly enjoyed it.”
Steve O’Hara and Team Equipment Officer Nick Berry would both like to extend their full thanks to Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service for granting them places on this course, and for supporting Bolton Mountain Rescue Team in this very positive way.