Operational Membership Recruitment Intake 2016. Session 3 of 4 took place this evening, and it was wet and cold!

This evening saw the third of our four operational membership recruitment intake 2016 sessions taking place, since we opened for recruitment late last year.

From 32 persons who had completed an initial on line application form, twenty four had confirmed they would be attending our induction / first evening on Thursday 28th January 2016, and of the 24 expected 21 actually turned up.

By Friday 29th January, three of the twenty one had decided not to currently proceed with their intentions to join the team.

Come Saturday morning, 30th January for the second session, we were therefore expecting seventeen applicants to turn up at our Ladybridge Hall Base / HQ for the 09.00hrs start (for the mathematically inclined in our readership – yes you are right it should have been 18x, but one couldn’t attend, and given previous experience in the team was allowed to miss today by special arrangement)

Thirteen actually turned up on Saturday 30th January 2016, with fourteen expected for the third session tonight.

With one more potential applicant not turning up, and apologies from another due to a work commitment, twelve applicants attended our Ladybridge Hall Base / HQ at 19.00hrs this evening.

Following a briefing by our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE and Training Officer Alistair Greenough ….. “Get in a team vehicle, we are not telling you where you are going!” the exercise commenced.

The twelve in a convoy of our Land Rover Bolton Mobile 4, Minibus Bolton Mobile 5 and Incident Control Vehicle Bolton Mobile 6, went on a magical mystery tour, which ended with the vehicles stopping high up on the moorland road between Rivington and Belmont, all twelve were decamped, along with team member Heath Doran and our Equipment Officer – Stretchers and Ropes Nigel Booth, who then asked them to establish where they were, and to navigate together to Hempshaws Ruins, thence to Will Narr and on to Spitlers Edge.

Two red miniflares (with GMP and Lancashire Constabulary informed of such beforehand) alerted them to the position of our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE and team member Michael Wakerley, replete with a Bell Mountain Rescue (yep half of which was actually carried up by Garry) on the windswept moorland of Spitlers Edge.

The twelve were then introduced to a night time – in the dark (well by the light of their head torches) and very wet and boggy conditions underfoot, stretcher evacuation, with applicant Chris Jones being the hapless casualty.


Nigel Booth gave an excellent briefing before this on how to fit the two halves of the stretcher together, as team members Mike Marsh and Steve Fletcher also arrived on scene.

All twelve, with Garry, Nigel, Heath, Mike, Michael and Steve, all assisting, then carried the stretcher with Chris on it, back to Hordern Stoops, where the rest of the team and all our team vehicles had now gathered.

A debrief, and then all departed, alongside the operational members from their exercise, for Ye Jolly Crofters and a chip butty supper!