The work of the hasty team
Within DSRT Ashburton are various specialists teams consisting of callout members who have trained to a higher level in a skill that is available to search managers should specific incidents require it.
One such specialist group within DSRT Ashburton is the hasty team. This is a small group of highly experienced hill and moorland runners. To move quickly the hasty team members wear fell running gear and carry light ‘mountain marathon’ style rucksacks. A hasty team will comprise of two or three members who, at the discretion of the search manager, will be able to provide a search capability that allows tracks, roads, paths and specific points to be reached, searched and cleared quicker than by a regular search team. It is reasonable to expect a Hasty Team to cover 4.5mph but this will vary depending on the intensity of the searching required. Operational time will always vary depending on weather conditions and terrain but will typically be between two and three hours.
The hasty’s train regularly on the moor during the day and at night and in all weathers to be ready for callouts. Hasty team members are all qualified in mountain rescue casualty care which allows them to quickly assess and stabilise a casualty before more support arrives. It is also important that no hasty member is overloaded as this will reduce speed and in itself may cause vulnerability.
Travelling fast over rough ground carries with it an increased risk of personal injury. Each member takes extra care at all times to keep this risk to a minimum, predominantly by adjusting speed accordingly to the terrain. In the event of personal injury, the Hasty Team will be self-sufficient with its basic first aid requirements.
If the team are unable to return to base they will be capable of keeping warm until help arrives.
The most vulnerable time for a hasty is at the Casualty site. It is key in cold weather that team members prevent their own exposure at a ‘Cas-site’ before tending to a casualty. To further prevent the risk of exposure to hasty members, it may be deemed appropriate by the search manager or hasty members, for the hasty’s to leave the cas site as soon as they have handed over to the first full search team to arrive.