Team attends Annual National Team Leaders Meeting

Today our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE and Deputy Team Leader Geoff Seddon, attended the National MREW Annual Team Leaders meeting.

Held at Lancashire Constabulary Force Headquarters at Hutton, Preston (The venue for our twice yearly MREW Business Meetings and our National AGM) todays event was facilitated by Bowland Pennine MRT, with their Team Leader Phil O’Brien MBE Chairing the days events.

Circa twenty five English and Welsh Mountain Rescue and Cave rescue teams were represented at the meeting attended primarily by Team Leaders, Deputy Team Leaders and others holding senior operational positions within MRTs / CRTs.

Also present were MREW Chairman Dave Allen, MREW Chairman Elect Mike France (Who takes up post in May 2014) and current MREW Assistant Secretary Keith Gillies, who will take up the post of MREW Secretary also in May 2014.

Attendees started gathering at 09.00hrs with the days presentations commencing at 10.00hrs.

Phil Benbow of Llanberis MRT / NMMRA and John Hulse of Ogwen Valley MRO / NWMRA gave an overview of the Bristow Helicopter UK SAR contract (In the absence of a representative from Bristow’s being available) which is scheduled to commence UK Helicopter SAR operations soon taking over from the existing mainly military helicopter provision.

Phil Benbow then gave the second presentation of the day around the MREW Major Incident Tasking Group (MITG) outlining the concept of Regional Response Groups (Formerly known as ‘Team Typing.’

Progress with regards to the proposal to adopt voluntarily a Peer Review Process in to Mountain and Cave Rescue Teams was then discussed, with Mike Margeson, Vice Chairman of MREW and former MREW Training Officer giving an overview of ideas to date, followed by considerable discussion from the floor.

Following lunch current MREW Chairman Dave Allen (A former MREW Medical Officer) then informed all present of the latest developments within the MREW Casualty Care Certificate Course, with particular emphasis on the way the examinations are undertaken, a review of how the course is structured and delivered followed by discussion again from the floor.

Former Mountain Rescue Trailing Dog Handler Iain Nicholson of Bowland Pennine MRT and SARIUK (Search and Rescue Institute UK) then gave an interesting presentation on tracking and clue awareness within the UK and the newly developing provision of training for such being introduced in to the Uk by SARIUK, aided by Search and Rescue Colleagues from New Zealand, and how such has been developed by members within Bowland Pennine MRT.

Tim Cain of Swaledale MRT, and the MREW Training Sub Committee then informed all of the thoughts for Team Leader specific training opportunities.

SARCALL, which is rapidly becoming the MREW member teams method for call out, was then outlined by John Hulse (OVMRO / NWMRA) with emphasis on current and envisaged developments and the use of the Incident Logger.

The last session of the day was introduced by Phil Benbow, with discussion around the need for an Operations Group within MREW.

The day ended with updates on the MREW Section 19 application process, the possibility of sponsorship for battery supply (Of all types) for MREW teams, and the setting up of a Future Strategy Group for MREW.

The day was a great success, with much discussion both formal and informal between all attending.

By 17.00hrs all present were on their way back to their various geograhically diverse home team locations.

Next years Annual Team Leaders Day is we understand provisionally scheduled to take place facilitated by Swaledale MRT.