In case of emergency, dial 112 or 999 and ask for the Police

Callouts 2012

Monday, 28 October 2013 13:17

Tough competition for budding rescuers

Written by

Tough competition for budding rescuers

On Saturday October 26th we held our 2013 trainee selection day.

10534150875 0b5355df95 b

We are often contacted by members of the public who wish to become members of our team and once a year we run a day designed to assess the capabilities and the ability to fit in to the team of those who have applied throughout the year. We had 16 members of the public who joined us at our Rescue Centre for the 2013 assessment, out of which we were able to offer up to 6 places for this year’s intake.

Men and women from all walks of life apply with a wide range of skills.  Our Training Officer kick started the day giving an introduction of what was in store for them before introducing other team members who gave a short overview of their involvement and the commitment it entails. Our Chairman delivered a potted history of the team before the candidates were presented with a short written test paper so that we could get a better understanding of their base capabilities with regard to navigation and first aid.10534148865 dd91997d58 b

Although the focus of the day is very much around assessing the candidates capabilities, we also provide a tour of our Rescue Centre , equipment and vehicles so that they leave with a much better understanding of the work of a Mountain Rescue team. The biggest area under estimated by many people who apply is the commitment we expect from our trainees and team members. It’s not just the callouts any time of day or night but also the weekly training throughout the year and the involvement with events and fundraising as we rely almost entirely on the generosity of the public to remain operational.  Every member of the team is an ‘equal cog’ and working as part of a team is of utmost importance. So apart from the skills navigation, first aid and technical skills being assessed, we are also looking at how candidates will fit in as team members.

10534380083 72e258c0c7 n

Early in the afternoon candidates are given a kit check and a grid reference to make their way to where they will be met and split up into small groups of 2 or 3. Accompanied by senior team members they are tasked to navigate their way to targets features on the open moor. This often opens another area that candidates underestimate as the navigation will include features that are not Tors!  These could be cairns, boundary stones, re-entrants and other features that will test the candidate’s ability to navigate to a more advanced level, returning after dark to the car park and a wind down in a Dartmoor pub.

10534381433 fffb220c77 n

So, if you are thinking of applying to our team we would love to hear from you (see our Contact Us page on our website on how to get an application form). But, before you apply make sure you are well prepared for the next selection day and take onboard the following points.

  • It is a big commitment being part of a Mountain Rescue team and you will be expected to attend not just callouts, but weekly training meets and fundraising events throughout the year. If you can’t realistically make give this level of commitment, then consider joining
  • We expect a good standard of navigation skills of all our potential trainees on the selection day as we are not able to train individuals to navigate. Instead, we will help you once selected as a trainee to develop your skills from a base standard into the advanced skills required for the team. You should, therefore, be able to pace accurately, read a map and relate it to the ground about you, understand contours, take and walk on a bearing and be able to take a resection.
  • Make sure you bring every item on the kit list that will be sent out with your selection day invitation. This includes, waterproofs, map, compass and a good hand and head torch as you will need them all! It never ceases to amaze us that some candidates don’t bring a map.
  • Before the day make sure you are up to speed with your navigation skills as these will be tested on the hill.

Our next selection day will be in October 2014 and you can apply anytime between now and then. In between time we are very much looking forward to welcoming 6 new trainees into the team and helping them work through their logbook to become active full team members.


Trainee Selection 2013

© 2021 DSRT Ashburton. All Rights Reserved.
Charity Number: 1106098.