Team attends todays Greater Manchester Emergency Services Third Annual Open Day at the Trafford Centre, Manchester

Today team members met at 08.30hrs this morning at our Ladybridge hall Base / HQ to then journey with all our team vehicles to this years Greater Manchester Emergency Services (Third) Annual Open Day, at the great venue yet again of the Trafford Centre, Manchester.

As with the previous two years we had on display all four of our Land Rover Ambulance vehicles at this fantastic event, our Minibus / Crewbus Ambulance and our SAR Boat along with exhibition material relating to the work of the team.

New to this year we also had on show our still brand new VW Crafter Incident Control Vehicle, ‘BM6,’ and our brand new ‘Exhibition Marquee’ tent, carrying the teams logo.

As regular readers of our website will recall, we also launched at this event today our brand new, completely revised and updated Bolton MRT Team Information Leaflet.

Fifteen Bolton MRT experienced Call Out list members attended, including our Team President Bob Hutchinson, Team Life Vice President and founder team member Alan James and our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE.

Support Group members Gillian Gregory, Iain Clarkson and Sarah Hindle also kindly attended all day, to crew our Catering Trailer unit, providing hot and cold drinks, and biscuits for all the personnel involved in the day from all the various services attending (Please note this facility was not available to members of the public)

The Salvation Army also brought along their Catering Vehicle which provided a variety of sandwiches for all present (Again, this facility was not available to members of the public)

Also within the ‘Mountain Rescue Zone’ of the days events were our colleagues from Rossendale and Pendle MRT, who attended with their latest ‘Mountain Rescue specification’ Toyota HiLux Ambulance vehicle, and their specialist Land Rover Discovery Mountain Rescue Ambulance vehicle.

Rossendale and Pendle MRT member and SARDA Air Scenting Dog Handler Steve Garafalo and his Search Dog Finn, also attended.

There really was a lot to see and take part in, with items to interest all, from the young to the old, making this event a great family day out and what’s more it was all completely free.

Todays event was blessed with plenty of sunshine and hot weather, and with all the Emergency Services and allied organisations present today, the organiser Ben Levy of GMFRS was confident in stating he believed that this is one of
the largest events of its kind in the UK.

The event’s official opening was at 11.00hrs, commencing with a one minute silence to remember and honour GMFRS Firefighter Stephen Hunt who so tragically recently lost his life in the line of duty whilst dealing with a very serious fire in Manchester City Centre.

A range of live displays took place throughout the day including road traffic collisions, kitchen safety, domestic sprinklers, Fire Cadet unit demonstrations and many more.

Drivers, young and old, whether on two wheels or four, were able to pick up tips to stay safe on the roads from GMFRS, GMP, Institute of Advanced Motorists and RoSPA, and there was also a brand new driving simulator for drivers to show off their skills.

In the Vintage Zone visitors could come face to face with the past with some classic fire engines, police cars and ambulances.

Visitors could also pick up vital lifesaving skills including how to deal with heart attacks using cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automatic external defibrillator (AED) devices taught by NWAS Paramedics and supported by The British Heart Foundation.”

A number of other supporting groups and services also offered basic life support instruction throughout the day too.

GMP were represented on the day by its new cadets, Traffic Cars, the Tactical Aid Unit, the Mounted Branch, members of the Special Constabulary and local Police Community Support Officers, who gave out crime prevention advice.

In the afternoon, a Police helicopter from the National Police Air Service (NPAS 21 from City Airport Manchester) gave a spirited overflight of the event area.

NWAS attended with Emergency Ambulances, a Rapid Response Vehicle, and the full NWAS HART team from its nearby base at Trafford Park.

GMFRS had a huge variety of Appliances on display, including its specially built Mini – Appliance, which fitted with child seats, gave many an excited child a driving (passenger) experience to remember, particularly as it was fully equipped with blue lights and sirens, on ‘public rides’ on a specially closed off section of roadway.

We had two special VIP guests to our display, Peter Fahy, Chief Constable of GMP, who met and chatted with our Team President Bob Hutchinson and Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE, and the Mayor of Trafford, Councillor Duncan Butt (A great friend of the teams from last years event)

With so many emergency services and allied organisations present, it was a great opportunity for us to renew old acquaintances, make new friends and generally meet and greet our colleagues, alongside the primary aim of the day to showcase what we all do to the public at large.

Amongst ‘old’ acquaintances of the team it was great to see Norman Greenhalgh of the British Red Cross FESS vehicle, NWAS Sara Harris, GMP Chief Inspector Donna Allen (thanks for the tweets!) GMFRS Specialist USAR Dog Handler Mick Dewar and many other friends and supporters of Bolton MRT.

Recently retired from Bolton MRT, RSPCA Inspector Andy Kench called to see us from his specialist RSPCA display, and gave his best wishes to the team.
We received £65.49p in kind donations from the many visitors who came to our display within the ‘Mountain Rescue Zone,’ plus much interest generated in our work.

Ben Levy, GMFRS Station Commander at Stretford Fire Station, organiser of the 2011, 2012 and this years event, by late afternoon had some interesting facts to pass on, namely that their were upwards of 165x emergency vehicles and displays present, and that the management of the Trafford Centre, had estimated that 10,000! visitors had attended todays spectacular event.

We departed today at 17.00hrs as the event closed for the day, another successful Greater Manchester Emergency Services Annual Open Day at the Trafford Centre, Manchester.

Such is the keenness for our members to attend this event, that team member Martin Battersby attended today direct from having arrived earlier this morning at Hull docks, after a motorhome holiday in France, with his wife dropping him off at the Trafford Centre on their way home!

During the afternoon we were called out to Incident 89, in support of an NWAS (Manchester) incident (See website Incident 89 – 2013) which to the members of public present at the time served to illustrate that we are a 24/7 voluntary service.

The Bolton Mountain Rescue Team would like to publicly place on record its thanks yet again to Ben Levy of GMFRS for his tremendous personal input into organising today, and to the Management of the Trafford Centre who once again gave up their premier car parking areas, right in front of the main entrance to this huge retail complex, to stage today.

Here’s to the 2014 Greater Manchester Emergency Services Fourth Annual Open Day at the Trafford Centre, Manchester. (Excellent sunny weather once more has been pre booked!)