Four members of our Control Vehicle / Incident Command Vehicle Project Team on all day fact finding tour

This morning four members of our Proposed Control Vehicle / Incident Command Vehicle project team, set off a a fact finding tour organised by our Project Team Leader Martin Banks, who could not attend the visit today.

Travelling to the unfamiliar lands south of the Manchester Ship Canal, in our ‘BM1’Land Rover, Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE, Training Officer Elaine Gilliland, Deputy Team Equipment Officer (Vehicles) Neil Aspinall and Team Committee member Chris Tennant, met up at one stage on the M6 with the new Minibus recently purchased by Keswick MRT, which we guessed was on its way to its makers in North Wales for some further work?

Our first port of call, was to the impressive brand new purpose built HQ of the Central Motorway Police Group, at Perry Bar, Birmingham.

So ‘secure’ was this facility it didn’t even have an ‘enquiry intercom’ on the entrance!

Once in we parked up amongst a fleet of Police motorway marked and unmarked patrol cars, with our one year old Land Rover looking no less impressive amongst this line up of performance vehicles.

We were met by PC Steve Rounds, a Trainer and Traffic Officer with the Central Police Motorway Group, who following introductions, gave us a very thorough look over their purpose built ‘Incident Command Unit’ which also has a welfare function, handy at protracted incidents.

This Transit based 2.5 litre diesel specialist vehicle was supplied and outfitted by Garric, who are a Local Bury company specialising particularly in ‘Site Welfare vehicles.’

After over an hour here and with time pressing on, we bade farewell to PC Steve Rounds and his colleagues (All stars of TV which recently featured the work of the CMPG) and headed off for our next port of call, a motorway service station for lunch where our Land Rover once parked up generated the usual questions and interest in the work of not just our team but mountain rescue generally.

Our next stop was Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire, where we visited the very impressive purpose built brand new Headquarters and manufacturing plant of BOTT – Vehicle Enhancement Division.

Enthusiastically meeting us here was Andy Harris, Specialist Vehicle Sales Manager and Andy Harwood, Sales Engineer.

We stayed here for over two hours, being given an overview of their company, including a meeting with their Managing Director, a viewing of their impressive company video, which featured specialist Control and Command vehicles built for Lomond MRT and Glencoe MRT, plus their more usual Fire, Police, Ambulance, and commercial organisations specialist vehicle conversion and outfitting work.

Our tour included their Purchasing and Customer Support Offices, their very impressive CAD Design Offices, including their 3D modelling systems, with our stay culminating in a visit to their extensive workshops.

Here a Control Vehicle was under construction for the Brecon Mountain Rescue Team, alongside a very specialised vehicle conversion for the West Midlands Fire Service.

Armed with much firmer ideas as to what our envisaged Control and command Incident Unit Vehicle might look like, we left for the journey home, stopping off at another service station (Our poor old Team Leaders bladder!) in the car park a couple from Port Talbot got talking to us about the marvellous work mountain rescue does. it turned out the ladies son was a Coxain in the RNLI and the man knew someone very well in Brecon MRT …. It’s a small world.

We currently have an approved operating budget of £55,000.00 to purchase our Control and Incident Command Vehicle which will replace our existing Control Trailer.

Further fact finding visits are planned and will be reported here.