MREW Mountain Rescue 2nd Annual Water Conference

Today our Equipment Officer Nick Berry attended the MREW Mountain Rescue 2nd Annual Water Conference.

Hosted by Edale MRT in conjunction with the Water Rescue Committee for Mountain Rescue England and Wales, the conference commenced at 09.00hrs, at the HQ of Edale MRT situated within the Lafarge Cement Works, Hope, Derbyshire.

Sessions included keynote speakers covering topics such as DEFRA standards, the Police perspective, navigation at water incidents, Incident Management, Vehicle Extrication and Boats in Mountain Rescue.

This Conference is illustrative of the growing number of water search and rescue incidents English and Welsh MRTs are now increasingly involved in.

Here follows an account of the day from Nick:

Today Equipment officer Nick Berry travelled to Edale Mountain Rescue Team Headquarters in the heart of the Peak District to attend the second Mountain Rescue National Water Conference.

Following registration the Chairman of the National Water Conference, Andy Lee gave a short introduction to the day’s lectures, and to get each canidate to sign up for the following topics later in the afternoon:

  • Vehicle in water rescue – Martin Bills
  • Water Search skills – Al Read
  • Weir risk Assessments – Chris Onions
  • Introduction to water Manager Course – Andy Lee

The first lecture of the day came from Ewan Thomas, The MREW water Officer. He provided an excellent talk on the National water update including the roles of mountain rescue during floods at both local and regional levels.

The stage was then donned by Lyle Brotherton, Author of “Ultimate Navigation Manual” He then talked about the importance and help GPS Global Positioning Systems can provide during flood and water rescues not just mountain environments.

Following this was Professor Michael Tipton who gave a very informative talk on medical considerations for flood victims and the dangers not just from drowning but pollution and hypothermia. The course candidates were then treated to a fantastic selection of snacks and hot drinks.

With everyone suitably refreshed it was the turn of Gerwyn Lloyd, a police officer with over 29 years service to talk about Fatal Incident Protocol and crime scenes again not just floods.

Just before lunch Chris Onions from OVMRO talked the course members through the dangers of Weirs and how to safely asses them.

We then retreated for lunch with lots of choices of food and hot drinks, also during lunch Lyle was selling signed copies of his book and some of the sponsors of the event were on hand to show some of there equipment Inc Boundtree Medical, Sp Services and safequip were all on hand with shiny new bits of kit to show us all.
Following lunch, Martin Bills, Nottingham Fire and Rescue service Station Manager, took the group who had picked the Vehicle in water rescue talk to show how to safely secure a vehicle in flood water and get any trapped people out to safety mainly by breaking glass (the fire brigade always make the most mess).

Andy Lee then gave a powerpoint talk on Introduction to water Management and Once again the candidates were treated to a refreshment break. After the brew Chris gave a very informative talk and practical test on weir risk assessments they are such an hidden danger, following on from Chris there were questions to the panel.

The day was brought to a close with attendance certificates being issued and candidate feedback forms being completed.

Nick would like to thank the National Water Conference Committee, the guest speakers and all the members of Edale Mountain Rescue Team for enabling this day to be such a success.