Potential new member recruitment day

Today saw the second part of our three part 2012 recruitment intake process, when potential new members met firstly at our Ladybridge Hall Base / HQ at 09.00hrs this morning (No lie in for them despite the clocks changing!)

The day started with persistent and heavy rain, and ended at 17.30hrs with the same persistent and heavy rain conditions, with the days temperatures barely climbing above a cold 7c.

see, Garry does carry the pack frame of the Bell stretcher

From the thirteen potential new members who attended on Thursday evening, nine turned up this morning, (With one more due but at the last minute unable to attend because of a work commitment)

Indoor sessions at our Base / HQ commenced for the potential members under the instruction of experienced team members, in the ‘mountain rescuers’ personal equipment, use of the long board and head blocks and basic instruction in the use of the Bell Mountain Rescue Stretcher.

The warmth of our Base / HQ was then left behind as the nine potential new members journeyed up to a very cold, extremely wet Hordern Stoops, (The high point between Belmont and Rivington) where they all had to undertake a solo moorland navigation course.

In heavy rain, thick moorland mist and very wet conditions underfoot, all nine navigated successfully to Winter Hill summit, with six of the nine managing to navigate quickly back to the waiting team members at Wards Reservoir, Belmont. Of the other three, well lets just say their journey took a less direct and somewhat longer route!

The first of three rescue exercises for the nine then commenced on Winter Hill Flats, with an introduction to most to the moorland tussock grass that makes walking so difficult on our local moors away from paths and tracks.

The first of many deep stream crossings undertaken today whilst carrying a loaded mountain rescue stretcher was new to all nine, and yes the team members present also had to wade through the same deep stream crossings. (Or fall fully in in the case of team member Steve O’Hara, who followed our dry footed Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE who of course can walk on water!)

Above Wards Reservoir – also known as Blue Lagoon

Following a short lunch break, it was then off to Great Gutter, the small moorland waterfall ravine that tumbles into Wards Reservoir, which today was in full spate.

Again the exercise involved a stretcher evacuation and again many streams in spate had to be crossed to get back to our vehicles, great fun!

very wet…

By now all attending today, whether the nine potential new recruits or the twenty six call out list members present were all equally wet through, so what better than to round off this wet day than with a steep ground stretcher evacuation, with back up safety rope assistance in Anglezarke Quarry.

By 17.00hrs all were back at our Ladybridge Hall Base / HQ for a welcome hot drink and a debrief on todays activities, with all nine stating they had had a great day, and all nine looking forward to the third part of our 2012 recruitment intake process, a night time navigation exercise in Lever Park, Rivington, on Wednesday night, 31st October 2012.

The following are some of the comments made by the nine, following today and Thursday evenings session on 25th October;

“Very informative and a great introduction to the team.”

“Made me want to join the team even more.”

“Meeting the rest of the team, seeing the good humour and the family atmosphere.”

“Good fun, thanks.”

“Good to see what commitment is required.”

“Had a great time, learnt loads.”

“Enjoyed it all.”

re-enactment of a rescue from Anglezarke Quarry

“Very enjoyable comprehensive guide to what’s its really like being part of mountain rescue.”

“I appreciated the honesty regarding the pressures and possible conflicts of team membership.”

“It was good to be thrown in at the deep end (Literally at one point !)”

“The only thing that was dry was the inside of my flask !”

“Everyone was very helpful and considerate.”

“Wish I’d had a cushion for Thursday nights session.”

“Good to hear the comments on Thursday from current team members.”

“It was great on Sunday to work as part of a team, especially in the quarry.”

“It didn’t seem possible to get the stretcher up the slope we did in the quarry.”

“Really good outdoor experience, surprised at how many people are involved in carrying a stretcher.”

“Everyone was very friendly.”

“A very well organised and extremely well equipped team.”

“I think I am now aware of what is required if I become a team member.”

“Great having hands on experience of what is involved, all the team were friendly and very helpful.”

“I feel I have learnt a lot and enjoyed getting to grips with what Bolton MRT is all about.”

And perhaps the final comment should go to experienced team Call Out list member Neil Warburton ….. “Today was a good day. Good people everywhere.”

Please also see website ‘news’ report dated Thursday 25th October 2012.