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Thursday, 21 December 2017 12:23

Team Member Interview - Dr Tas Ali

Team member interview - Dr Tas Ali

In this series of team member interviews, we find out more about what makes our volunteers tick. In this interview we talk to Dr. Tas Ali, currently the Chair of our team.

 Dr Tas Ali. Dartmoor Search and Rescue Ashburton. Team Chair.

 

1) What is your role within the team and what does it involve?

I am the Chairman of the committee that manages the business of the team. It is a huge privilege to be considered to be fit to do this for such a talented group of people.

I have responsibility for the management, rather than the operational side of our work. These aspects are often intertwined, so I end up working closely with the Team Leader on most issues.

It is my responsibility to ensure the whole range of views of the committee is heard, and to forge census by negotiation. We are lucky to have a wide range of engaged and knowledgeable people in our committee who contribute huge value to our discussions.

We have an ethos within the team that we are all cogs in the machine and if any cog gets bigger than the others the machine jams. My view is that we run a well-oiled machine!

As one of the team doctors, I train our team to the Mountain Rescue standard of Casualty Care. I am proud of our team as we now have over 30 members who hold this qualification.

2) When did you join DSRTA and why?

Just under 20 years ago I moved from London and met a couple of team members who asked if I wanted to be a body on the moor! I felt perplexed at the time, but then understood it meant being a casualty for a search and rescue exercise and I haven’t looked back since.

3) Tell us about your day job?

I am a consultant anaesthetist and ensure patient’s undergoing surgery are safe under general anaesthesia, wake up comfortably and are pain free post-surgery. Other aspects of my work are looking after women in labour who need an epidural or a caesarean section. On call, I work with the intensive care team to stabilise sick and injured patients coming into the emergency department and if needed take them to the operating theatre for emergency surgery.

It puts life into perspective seeing people having to cope with immense stresses and makes me understand that we should be grateful for what we have and be kind to one another as life is fragile and precious.

4) Do you have any other hobbies or interests?

Anything outdoors, climbing, biking and recently running, but I am really bad at it!

5) Choose 5 words which best describe your experiences with DSRTA

Focused, highly skilled, trust, friendship and humbling.

6) Where is your favourite part of Dartmoor and why?

The Dart valley, it is a magical place that constantly changes but is always calming.

7) Jam or Cream first?

Clotted cream first, and squirty cream second. I am sure I will get into trouble for that…..

8) The Rolling Stones or The Beetles?

I am far too young! OK Beatles.

Published in News
Monday, 08 May 2017 15:28

Team Member Interview - Al Pewsey

In this series of team member interviews, we find out more about what makes our volunteers tick. For our fifth interview we talk to our Fundraising Officer Al Pewsey, 

Al Pewsey

What is your role within the team and what does it involve?

Apart from a callout member I am also the team Fundraising Officer. We rely on the general public for around 92% of our funding so my main role is looking for opportunities for raising funds and liaising with our supporters who are vital to us remaining operational. It’s a fabulous job to have because I get to meet lots of very lovely individuals, groups, societies and businesses who support the team in so many different ways and for so many different reasons. I run lots of presentations to groups and societies talking about the work of the team, get to have my photo taken at cheque handovers, organise fundraising at events like our Templer Way sponsored walk and the Dartmoor Classic and generally keep myself busy representing the team anyway I can.

I also head up the team that runs the team website and social media feeds so that also keeps me busy!

When did you join DSRTA and why?

I was originally part of the Okehampton team in the 1980’s but had to leave when work commitments got in the way. Moving on to 2009, a friend of mine was part of the Ashburton team and he rekindled my interest in rejoining. As I enjoyed my time at Okehampton and the time was right for me to give up some spare time again as its quite a commitment, I applied and was lucky enough to be offered a place as a trainee in 2010.

Tell us about your day job?

I worked as a Presales Technical Networks Consultant, helping businesses to link their sites and offices for communications not just in Devon but across the country. It was not very exciting and I took the opportunity to leave late last year. I'm now having a break before I decide what to do next.

Do you have any other hobbies or interests?

Lots. Cycling (don’t mention bollards!), photography, travel, keeping fit, theatre lighting, walking, climbing (not very good) and water sports.

Choose 5 words which best describe your experiences with DSRTA

Great people. Busy. Very rewarding

Where is your favourite part of Dartmoor and why?

The beauty of Dartmoor is it has so much to offer at any time of year and what ever your mood so I have lots of favourite places. However my long time favourite place is Gidleigh Common as it has so much to offer with scenery, antiquities, the River Teign and of course peace and quiet.

Jam or Cream first?

Cream, there is no other way ..... duuuuhh!

The Rolling Stones or The Beetles?

Stones everytime.

Favourite part of being part of the team?

The camaraderie is fabulous and I work with some amazingly talented people. It is great to know that no matter what time of day or night, our volunteers will drop everything to search for somebody they don’t know regardless of the circumstances. It restores your faith in human nature.

Published in News
Monday, 08 May 2017 15:09

Team Member Interview - Andrew Luscombe

In this series of team member interviews, we find out more about what makes our volunteers tick. For our fourth interview we talk to Andrew Luscombe, affectionately known as Lugs, the custodian of our team equipment and vehicles.

Lugs

1) What is your role within the team and what does it involve?

I am currently the team’s Vehicle Officer and Equipment Officer. My role is to ensure that all our vehicles are roadworthy and the kit within them is operational and up to date with a full checklist being completed weekly, this includes dealing with insurances, MOT’s plus any repair work, much of which is carried out in house. My extended role as EO includes checking all of our operational kit, ropes, water PPE, radios, medical gases, team bags, cas bags, vacuum mattresses and stretchers to name a few.

2) When did you join DSRTA and why?

I joined DSRTA in November 2011 as a trainee, and received my jacket in January 2013. It had been a long held desire to join the team and took some time(years) to buck up the courage to apply, I’m very glad I did…

3) Tell us about your day job?

I used to fettle wooden dowels for NASA, however due to the demise of the shuttle programme work dried up so I now work as a building contractor…

4) Do you have any other hobbies or interests?

I’ve always had an interest in birds, encouraged by my grandfather who in the 50’s and 60’s maintained bird counts for the RSPB and worked closely with H G Hurrell for many years. I occasionally knock out the odd painting,   trying to complete my collection of The Countryman magazine I’m missing 1927-1930, and have a constantly growing collection of minerals and fossils. Currently looking for an old brit motorcycle to restore, the more knackered the better!

5) Choose 5 words which best describe your experiences with DSRTA

Satisfying, challenging, diverting, poignant, warm.

6) Where is your favourite part of Dartmoor and why?

Mount Misery, pitch black, fog, heavy sideways rain and barely above freezing….

Other than that both the Avon and the Dart. The Avon because I’ve known this river and all her moods since I was a small child. The Dart, from the source of both the East and West Dart to Dartmeet and beyond to New Bridge, sometimes on these stretches you could quite easily be on another planet.

7) Jam or Cream first?

Jam on the left and cream on the right

8) The Rolling Stones or The Beetles?

Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, ACDC, Wagner, Puccini, currently Electro Swing…anything really as long as its not jazz, jazz is just plain wrong..

Published in News
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