Team membership recruitment 2014 intake, Session 2 of 3 took place today

With the opening of our team once more to operational membership recruitment, as a result of our having a limited number of current vacancies, we published a website ‘News’ item on Tuesday 9th September 2014.

We subsequently received fourteen positive applications, all of whom were sent an email reply, inviting them to our three recruitment intake sessions in October.

Nine of the fourteen applicants went on to confirm their attendance on our Thursday evening 23rd, all day Sunday 26th and Wednesday evening 29th October recruitment sessions, by returning their booking form and registration fee.

On the  evening of Thursday 23rd October, eight of the nine actually attended our first session of three for our 2014 recruitment intake, commencing at 18.50hrs at our Ladybridge hall Base / HQ.

The eight  included a Structural Engineer, an Accident and Emergency Nurse,  a Trainee Teacher, a retired college lecturer, an Accident and Emergency Doctor, a Facilities Manager, an Operations Manager and an NWAS Clinical Advisor, with ages ranging from 27 to 54.

Amongst these eight was Team Support Group member Steve James, who wishes to transfer from our Support Group membership to our operational Call Out list membership.

Today all eight met at our Ladybridge Hall Base / HQ at circa 09.30hrs for the second part of our recruitment 2014 sessions, this time for a full day out ‘awareness’ session with the team.

They arrived as nineteen team operational Call Out list members and two Support Group members (Iain Clarkson and Amanda Strickleton) attended the same venue for our monthly Vehicles / Trailers / SAR Boat / Base – HQ Valet day, so they saw at first hand some of the ‘less glamorous’ but vitally important work that goes on behind the scenes to keep the team running.

Their day commenced with an introduction to our Bell and SAR Alpine Lite specialist mountain rescue stretchers, followed by the use of our vacuum splints.

Their personal hill equipment was then reviewed by team members – tut tut on the lack of such basic items amongst some as no first aid kit, no whistle and no bivvy shelter / bivvy bag.

It was then off for a solo simple hill navigation test on the flanks of Winter Hill, to demonstrate their knowledge of basic map work, then immediately followed by a straight forward stretcher evacuation of an injured hill walker ; immediate past Training Officer Neil Warburton playing the part of such, on the hillside above Wards Reservoir.


Here our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE met with a passing hill walker who had been a member of Ogwen Valley MRO in the 1970s, and showed interest in our training / recruitment day.

Lunch, during which everybody’s menu choice was discussed by our Chairman Craig Lamb ! was followed by a steep ground stretcher evacuation exercise in the now very overgrown (by Rhododendrons) rocky mini gorge of Great Gutter, overlooking Wards Reservoir.

The stretcher carry back to the car park carefully avoided all the bridges ! as the art of stream crossing was pursued with the usual vigour and good natured fun as everybody got to test how deep the boggy bits and stream was!


All eight then departed for the final exercise of the day, in a small convoy of our six team vehicles present to Anglezarke Quarry, for some ‘even steeper’ stretcher handling work, including drag ropes.

All to soon the day for the eight was over, and all returned to our Ladybridge Hall Base / HQ for a debrief.


Seventeen of our team Call Out list operational members attended to support this recruitment session today, giving up their day to give those interested in joining the team a greater insight in to our work.

At the conclusion of today, one of the eight decided that for the present time they did not wish to continue with their application to join the team, whilst another of the eight decided that at present it was more appropriate to assist the team by joining our Support Group.

The remaining six have all now been invited to attend on Wednesday evening, 29th October, when for their last recruitment intake session 3 of 3, they will be asked to undertake a night time hill navigation test, and then take part in an exercise the same night alongside the rest of the team.

The following are a selection of debrief comments made by seven of the eight today, about Thursday evening and today;

  • Informative good starter and a great insight.
  • Very excited – the more I learn about the team and its activities.
  • Lots of information.
  • I enjoyed everything about Sunday.
  • I enjoyed the team work, working together with good variation.
  • Thursday was very informative, light hearted, but an excellent overview of what the team does.
  • Thursday and Sunday was well thought out, testing a variety of skills well, so that I have an idea of whether I would be able to make a worthwhile contribution.
  • A comprehensive introduction on Thursday, interesting to have Diane’s (Webmaster- Diane Blakeley) perspective.
  • Informative yet honest regarding expectations of the commitments.
  • Hands on involvement, seeing how professional the team are close up.
  • A fantastic introduction to the team, I hope my application is successful.
  • Enjoyable – hard work on Sunday but then I expected that.
  • Very informative, good to know what the team does.
  • Great I really enjoyed it all, very informative, a great Introduction to the team and what it is all about.

Please also see website ‘News’ report dated Thursday 23rd October 2014.