Team decommissions its current Control Trailer as the delivery of our brand new Incident Control Vehicle is confirmed

This evening with some team members on a navigation / orienteering exercise in Lever Park, Rivington, another set of team members were working away at our Ladybridge Hall Base / HQ decommissioning from our operational service our current Control Trailer and preparing various items of equipment for fitment into our brand new Incident Control Vehicle (VW Crafter CR35 LWB vehicle, MJ13UHT) which is due to be delivered to the team tomorrow, (Thursday 30th May 2013)

Our Control Trailer is being donated, completely free of charge (Along with some ancillary items) to our colleagues at Norfolk Lowland Search and Rescue Team, who lack such a facility.

It is currently scheduled that they will journey to our Ladybridge Hall Base / HQ on Sunday 2nd June 2013, to accept this donation, which will see our Control Trailer going off to the ‘flatlands’ of Norfolk for a new lease of life with Norfolk LSART in their valued voluntary search and rescue role to the community of Norfolk.

We accepted this trailer into our operational service in August 2005, and its last operational use with us was on Saturday 11th May 2013, when we used it to control our provision of standby rescue cover for the Belmont Village Fell Races.

Over its time with us our Control Trailer has been used on a very large number of search incidents, standby rescue covers and large scale exercises. (Often multi agency)

We have also regularly used it to carry our display materials for team demonstrations, and then as a ‘focal point’ at such events.

There is ‘many a story’ this trailer could recall, and it has served the team well, but in a major development for the Bolton MRT it has now been replaced with a specialist purpose built Incident Control Vehicle, supplied and constructed by Coleman Milne of Westhoughton.

This is the sixth major completely free donation of equipment we have made to our colleagues in other search and rescue teams;

On Sunday 7th August 2005, with our Control Trailer in service at that point, the team donated the previous Control Trailer we had operated
to our colleagues in Cheshire Lowland Search & Rescue Team (Now Cheshire Search and Rescue Team) who lacked such a facility within their Team.

Cheshire SART have also benefitted in recent years from free donations by us to them of two Troll Alphin Mountain Rescue Stretchers, Medical Splints, a Casualty Bag and thirty hand held search lights.

We have also made recent donations to Norfolk LSART of powerful Dragon Light hand held search lamps, and Dragon Magnum Scene lighting units.

As with the donation of our pre-current Team clothing to Cornwall Rescue Group (a member of MREW) and the donation of a Renault Minibus Ambulance, previously operated by us, to Hampshire Search & Rescue Team (a member of ALSAR), the Bolton Team is pleased to be able to support its colleagues elsewhere in the UK, in the provision of a voluntary search and rescue service to their local communities.

The following are two accounts our readers will find of interest, from our website archives of the introduction into service of our Control Trailer, with a history of how it came about;

Wednesday 31st August 2005 Investors in People Presentation Evening and Dedication of our new Control Trailer.

Following the fantastic news that we had achieved the Investors in People Award in June this year, we decided to hold a formal presentation evening to receive this award. We also took the opportunity on the same evening to dedicate into formal service our new Control Trailer.

28 team members were present early evening at our Ladybridge Hall base to welcome 30 guests to the presentation evening. Our guests included representatives from GMP and Lancashire Constabulary, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, A large group from GMAS including Derek Cartwright, Director of Operations, Bolton MBC Emergency Planning Officer, 6x members of our Support Group, Team friends, Brian Iddon Member of Parliament, (with apologies and congratulations from David Crausby MP and Andy Burnham MP), persons involved in our Control Trailer refurbishment, and two members of the Bulgarian Fire Service, (of which more below) and their host Bolton University’s Head of Education, and those involved in the IiP Award itself. For all our guests present, there was a display of team equipment, and various displays put on in our base, plus all four of our Landrover Mountain Rescue Ambulances were on display alongside our new Control Trailer. Thankfully the days heavy rain ceased in time for all to meet outside our base and hear the opening remarks by our Chairman Tony McNally and our Team Leader Garry Rhodes.

Formally presenting the IiP Award to the team was Alison Denholm of Chamberlink and Judy Hardman of Investors in People North West, the Award Plaque being received by our Chairman and Team Leader, both on behalf of the Team.
Our new Control trailer was then dedicated into service, (having already been used on the joint exercise with Cheshire LSART and the two evening long Sale search) with a Prayer of Dedication service led by team member and Church Minister, The Reverend Mike Thomason.

All the supporters, guests and Team members on this special night

We were particularly pleased at the evening to have as our special guests a number of people associated with the building of our new Control Trailer. From North West Bus and Coach Repairs we had Bernard Hunt, who kindly provided much by way of materials and a full external re-spray. Team member Jonathan Holts parents were present, as a thank you for “hosting” the trailer in their back garden over late spring and early summer whilst team members worked on it.

Team members & supporters who spent their own time and effort on the conversion of the new control trailer.

Lastly and very specially we had Beryl and Jack Hainsby, who had kindly donated to the team £2,000.00 previously to fund the works on the trailer, all to the memory of Beryl’s brother Geoffrey Clarke. Both Beryl and Jack were surprised to find we had dedicated the Control trailer to the memory of their Brother and as such we unveiled a plaque in the Control Trailer stating such. Beryl and Jack had their own surprise for us! see article below. Following the presentation and dedication, we all retired to GMAS Ladybridge Hall itself, where the team had arranged for a very filling and excellent buffet.

Wednesday 3rd August 2005
Control Trailer Commissioned

After much hard work over the summer, by a small group of Team members, our new Control Trailer was commissioned into service this evening. Many people had put a lot of work into this trailer with a special mention to the parents of Team Member Jonathon Holt, who allowed the trailer to be initially stored and worked on at their home address.

It is timely to remind our readership that the refurbishment of this trailer took place thanks to the kind sponsorship of North West Bus & Coach Repairs, who carried out a full external refurbishment of the trailer at minimal cost and also contributed much by way of internal fitment materials.

The cost of the works associated with the trailer have been totally met by a very kind bequest by Beryl and Jack Hainsby, following the sad death of Beryl’s brother, Geoff.

Although now in service, the formal dedication of this trailer will take place on Wednesday evening 31st August 2005 during our Investor’s in People award’s evening.

Internal shot of the new Control Trailer showing the Communications Operators position, with mobile phone, 2 x MRT Radios & Ambulance Radio.

This Trailer which has been custom built to our exacting requirements, will be a vast improvement over our now decommissioned Control Trailer, which gave many years of sterling service. As you would expect the Trailer is fully equipped with differing radio systems and IT mapping systems, with much thought given to lighting and heating details, as well as immediate power being available from an on-board battery system, independent of the generator that it carries.

External shot showing rear storage compartment, access and briefing / debriefing area (which can be covered).

A lot of Team members assisted with the work on this trailer, with very special and specific mention being made of Team members Jonathon Holt, John Parish, Dave Healey and Alan Livesey. (Not forgetting the valuable support of Team member Stephanie Holt)