MREW 4×4 Driver Training

Three callout team members spent last weekend in ice, mud and water without getting their feet wet. Nigel Booth, Matthew Morris and Rasti Schweizer were all students on the regional Mountain Rescue England and Wales 4×4 driving course.
Callout team member Ged Clarke was one of the two instructors on the course having qualified as an MREW Instructor earlier in the year. The other instructor was Simon Thresher from Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team which also sent three team members to the course.
Friday evening was spent at our base learning some of the technical aspects of safe off road driving such as how to deal with “transmission wind-up” and a few of the golden rules such as “As slow as possible, as fast as necessary” and “If in doubt, bottle out”.
Armed with this new found knowledge, the students were let loose in team vehicles at Cowm Quarry 4×4 centre in Whitworth for 7 hours on Saturday under the close eye and able instruction of Ged and Simon. Failed hill climbs, steep ascents and descents, cross axle situations, deep ruts and water crossings were all practised – as was winching out a vehicle when one particularly deep rut proved a bit of a challenge!
Sunday morning gave time for some last minute practice before a written exam and practical driving test was taken by each student under the watchful eye of examiner Steve from Cumbria. We are pleased to report that all students passed with flying colours and are now much better equipped to take our Landrover Defenders off road when we need to access casualties and convey them safely in remote locations.
Special thanks go to John from Cowm Leisure who hosted us so well, giving us access to the extensive 4×4 course for the weekend for free.