MREW Equipment Symposium

This morning, Team Call Out list member Nigel Booth (Who works full time as a GMFRS Watch Officer at GMFRS Bolton North Fire Station) attended the MREW all day Equipment Symposium, held at and facilitated by Lyon Equipment Limited, at Tebay.

The following report on this interesting and very informative day is from Nigel;

“Today I attended the first Mountain Rescue England and Wales Technical Symposium at Lyon Work and Rescue Tebay.

It is intended by MREW that a technical ’rope’ event will be run every 2 years alternately with a ’rope’ training event on the last weekend in June.

This event began with the forty or so attendees from Mountain / Cave and Mines Rescue being welcomed by Paul Witheridge who is the Manager of the Work and Rescue section at Lyon. Additionally Paul is a member of Cumbria Mine Rescue Unit and Penrith Mountain Rescue Team.

Next up was Richard Terrell MREW Equipment Officer who explained the premise of this and future technical days.

Following these welcomes / introductions and explanations, we made our way to the training area where we were to observe the drop testing of the CMC multi-purpose device whilst being used with European Ropes.

The explanation of these tests was undertaken by Al Read MREW Training Officer whilst the guys from Ogwen Valley MRO did the practical work in resetting the 200Kg drop mass for each test. During these tests an invitation was put out for anyone who had some rope they wanted to test could see how it stood up to the 200kg mass dropping 1metre with 3 metres of slack in the rope.

One such rope (600 + metres!) just been retired from service as it was thought it had been contaminated; it was hoped by that team member that the 700kg of force that is generated would snap the rope – guess what – it didn’t!!!!!!

The tests concluded with the tradition tandem prussik system of arresting a load. Of course this worked.

This practical session was followed by a well received lunch. This was a good opportunity to speak to members of other rescue teams.

After lunch the second session was an individual pull test to ascertain what the average rescuer can pull when raising a casualty/stretcher load. The range of load through pulling ranged from 25kg up to 75kg. For those of us close the the lower end were happy that the conclusion was that it was just an arbitrary test and not a competition!!!!!

The final session of the day was a workshop lead by Bill Batson (Formerly RAFMRT) currently the Training Manager at Lyon on mechanical advantage. This was about what we need to build to raise that particular casualty /stretcher load. This ranged from a straight pull through 3:1 mechanical advantage up to 9:1 mechanical advantage. Many of us have done this sort of thing before but having the load rigged up a load cell allowed the forces in the system to be viewed on a screen which served as a useful reminder on what we expecting our rescue systems to do.

This session concluded the day.

Richard Terrell closed the symposium with the hand out of feed back sheets that I think from my opinion of the day would be filled with very positive comments. Nigel Booth.”