Team attends 2nd Annual “Get ready for Winter ” event today in Bolton

Today at the very kind invitation of Bolton Council, the Bolton MRT attended the second annual ‘Get ready for Winter’ event, held on Victoria Square in front of the Town Hall in Bolton.

Organised by The Civil Contingencies Unit at Bolton Council, todays event was part of an on going initiative involving Government departments, various agencies and the voluntary sector, giving people information about how to keep safe and warm during the winter months and encouraging people to be resilient in their planning.

Its purpose was also to demonstrate how all the partner agencies work together meeting some of the duties of the Civil Contingencies Act including warning and informing the public and co-operation and information sharing between partner agencies.

The event was officially opened by the Mayor of Bolton at circa 10.00hrs, with all participants having arrived to set up in the square for 09.30hrs.

We attended with two of our four Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulances (Radio Call signs Bolton Mobile 2 and 3) our Incident Control Vehicle (BM6) and our 3.5 metre long semi rigid inflatable SAR Boat, also setting up a search and rescue equipment display alongside our vehicles.

Nine Bolton MRT Call Out list operational members attended, including our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE, Equipment Officer (Water) John Fletcher, John Dickinson, Equipment Officer (Medical) Nigel Booth, Paul Chisholm (Who is training to be a Mountain Rescue Air Scenting Search Dog Handler, and who attended with Bella, his dog on training) Paul Copley, Alistair Greenough, Team Life Vice President Alan James, and Samantha McKay.

Three of our current Trainee team members also attended, including Ashley Kelshaw, Michael Eddleston and Doctor Mark Jeffrey.

During the event we met up again with PC Mel Jackson and Acting Sergeant Jane Wilcock from GMP who had attended our recent Foundation Course in Mountain Rescue event in mid October.

We also met up again with one of the NWAS Paramedics who had attended a recent incident we jointly attended at Cadshaw up on the moors.

All the members of all the services and organisations present were kindly provided, with thanks, with a breakfast and lunch pack by Bolton MBC, whilst the Salvation Army in the guise of their Catering Vehicle, kept all supplied with hot drinks throughout the day.

Todays event was much larger in content than the previous (First) event in 2012, with a noticeably larger number of members of the public visiting, and with thankfully the forecasted rain never happening, with even the hint of blue skies later on in the event, which ended around 15.30hrs.

We saw a huge number of the public visiting our particular display, with considerable interest shown in our work, and a great many taking the time to thank us for all the work we do in the local community.

With sincere thanks to all the members of the public who so kindly and so generously asked if they could make a donation to the team, we raised the wonderful sum of £97.61p in donations.

The following organisations were known to be present today;

  • NWAS (Manchester) Emergency Ambulance.
  • NWAS (Manchester) Rapid Response Vehicle and Bolton town centre Cycle Response Unit, with attendant Paramedics.
  • Greater Manchester Police; Marked Traffic Vehicle, Marked Police Motorcycle, Officers and PCSOs.
  • GMP PCSO Officers and their public safety display.
  • GMFRS; Water Rescue Unit Appliance and Rescue Boat from Blue Watch, Heywood Fire Station.
  • GMFRS; Dog Unit Vehicle, with dog handler Mick Dewar and his USAR (Urban Search and Rescue) Dog Ace.
  • GMFRS; ‘Childrens’ Fire Appliance and the Disco / Bubbles Fire Engine!
  • Salvation Army; Mobile Catering Vehicle, which did a great job on this cold day keeping us warm with an endless supply of hot drinks.
  • Environment Agency; Various display stands including ‘Flooding’ information.
  • 103 Regiment Royal Artillery (Volunteers) along with a 105mm Light Gun and Towing Vehicle.
  • Electricity North West.
  • British Red Cross; Fire Emergency Support Service specialist vehicle, and a Command Unit Vehicle.
  • RSPCA Officer and a Semi Rigid Inflatable SAR Boat from their Flood Response Team.
  • Bolton NHS Trust (Royal Bolton Hospital) ; Patient (CBRN) Decontamination display.
  • Music Stage and Public Address Unit ; Thanks for the frequent mentions of Bolton MRT.
  • Bolton Council; Civil Contingencies Unit Officers, a Snowplough / Gritter vehicle from their Highways Department, and other Environmental Services displays.
  • North West 4×4 Response.
  • Highways Agency; Traffic Officer Patrol Vehicle and a Snowplough / Gritter vehicle.
  • Various public health and safety stalls and agencies, including Anti Crime Initiatives, Food For Life, and Operation Treacle campaign.

Overall the day was a resounding success for all involved, and our thanks are extended to all at Bolton MBC Civil Contingencies Unit for organising and co-ordinating yet again this event, and also giving all present an excellent opportunity to come together to showcase all the many diverse organisations and services which operate to keep all in our local communities safe and healthy.

Please also see website ‘News’ reports dated Wednesday 31st October and Thursday 25th October 2012.