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Callouts 2015

Displaying items by tag: training

Friday, 04 October 2019 14:25

It's not just about training and callouts

More to us than training and rescues

“I think it’s wonderful what you do”. Most Mountain Rescue Team (MRT) members will have heard this from members of the public and have replied with modest thanks. But what we do is, in fact, wonderful but not simply in the way that outsiders mean. To be part of the 60-strong Ashburton team is to belong to family which, precisely because it is close-knit, operates so efficiently when called upon to find “the lost, missing, injured and vulnerable”.

To strut our stuff effectively involves training most Wednesday nights, more often than not out on the moor, although during the summer we also spend some evenings at Torbay’s excellent Horizon Centre where our 30 casualty carers keep their skills up to snuff. 

During the winter, every member is required to attend 12 training exercises and six during the summer.  Most of us, especially our trainees who have much to learn in the year to eighteen months it will take them to earn their red jackets, attend far more than the minimum. This is of crucial importance, not simply to remain up-the-date in our range of disciplines, which apart from the medical side, include navigation, ropework, surviving and helping others survive in the sometimes raging white waters of the Dart and working with helicopters. Regular attendance also maintains our closeness to and trust in each other, of the utmost importance when we face dangerous and challenging searches.

Apart from the mileage the police pay us when they call us out and the provision by the team itself of some pieces of clothing, cleaning and waterproofing products and batteries, we volunteer our time and fuel without financial reward. Then there are the busy committee members who normally serve in their various demanding posts for three years. And finally and by no means least are the fund-raising activities which the team is called upon to support. These include the Templer Way walk, our major fundraiser, the Dartmoor classic cycle run and the Dartmoor in the Dark expeditions which are growing in scope and popularity. (The next one is at Postbridge Village Hall on November 23).  

dart2ZERO volunteers are wonderful!

The hours that we are required to volunteer to keep the team at its current high level of operation efficiency, including raising the money to cover our minimum £28,000 annual running costs, certainly do mount up. That is why in recent years our Dart2ZERO supporters have become invaluable.  Your efforts have helped the rest of us to balance work and family with our commitment to the regular work of the team.  By assisting us in doing the bread and butter stuff, including selling draw tickets or manning registration desks at the Templer Way or Dartmoor in the Dark, you really are making an invaluable contribution to the life of the team.

We have always recognised the danger that Dart2ZERO members may sometimes feel out on the periphery. Our annual supporters’ cream tea is the least we can do to recognise the work you do. There is also a standing invitation to anyone in Dart2ZERO to come and watch our training, particularly as a casualty. This way you can get to see what we do and share a pint with us afterwards - a no-less important part of every evening out on the hill. 

So going back to what members of the public come up and say to us when we are decked out in our red finery on a call out, it is not just “wonderful” to be of service to others, it is also wonderful being together with each other in our team. And though you as supporters may not be up at the sharp end, you are no less wonderful in what you do for us. Each and every one of you in your way is a Dart2ZERO Hero. Thank you. 

To find out more about volunteering for Dartmoor Search and Rescue Ashburton as a dart2ZERO supporter, click <- here ->

Published in Blog

Volunteer Doctors enhance medical care for casualties

Last night's training exercise was a joint agency exercise where we worked with BASICS Devon volunteer professional Doctors who specialise in expert medical care where lives hang in the balance.
Dartmoor Rescuers begin to enter the water at Haytor Quarry to reach a casualty
A scenario involving a fallen climber stranded on a difficult to access ledge was set on Haytor Rock, and 2 separate water-related incidents around the pond at Haytor Quarry involving a deteriorating hypothermic casualty and another who needed an emergency leg amputation due to a foot entrapment in the water and a deteriorating cardiac condition.
Dartmoor Rescue volunteers attend a casualty on a stretcher whilst a BASICS Devon Doctor looks on.
Team members and BASICS Doctors worked alongside each other to effect smooth rescues with expert casualty care being received on-site at the casualty locations.
Our Team Leader Keith said: 'The exercise was designed to get a better understanding of the skills of each organisation and how best we can work together to ensure the best outcome for the casualty.  We always pick up valuable learning points from these exercises and last night was no exception. The good news is all three casualties were rescued safely and received effective expert medical care even before they had reached the ambulance. Had this been a real incident, the joint working between us and BASICS Devon would have given them the best chance of a good recovery. '
A casualty receives CPR on a Dartmoor rescue sled after being rescued from a rock ledge by a pond
You can find out more about BASICS Devon at The volunteer Doctors are tasked by the South Western Ambulance Service control room. Many call-outs they respond to are to the victims of major trauma, often involving road accidents.
Published in News

LIBOR bank fines fund rescue training for volunteers

Over the last two weekends, Dartmoor Search and Rescue Ashburton volunteers alongside sister Dartmoor teams Tavistock and Plymouth,  and representatives from Exmoor and Cornwall search and rescue teams,  attended a training course funded by the LIBOR financial fines which have been made available to Mountain Rescue for 'train the trainer' activities.

Dartmoor Search and Rescue Ashburton attend LIBOR funded rope rescue training

The volunteers participated in the regional rollout of Mountain Rescue England and Wales Rope Rescue Operator Instructor courses delivered by climbing equipment manufacturer Lyon Equipment. The course focussed on being able to execute safe and effective rope rescues and to cascade that training to their teams. The course attendees refined their skills in using technical equipment to access casualties in difficult steep ground or cliff faces and were given training on how to deliver that content back to their home teams.

 Rope rescue skills are regularly used by  Dartmoor Search and Rescue Ashburton for the extraction of casualties from the bottom of the River Dart gorge near Poundsgate, to rescue climbers from the cliffs at Haytor and for steep ground searches.  
 Rope team lead Simon Rhymes from Dartmoor Search and Rescue Ashburton said "This training course was a great opportunity for 6 of our volunteers to extend both their personal rope rescue capability and instructing skills under the expert tuition of Bill, Mark and Mike from Lyon Equipment.  With these new found skills we can continue to extend the professional service we offer to our local community."
Rope rescue train the trainer courses for mountain rescue delivered by Lyon Equipment
Bill Batson from Lyon Equipment said “Lyon Equipment has a long history of involvement with mountain and cave rescue in the UK and we very much enjoyed delivering rope rescue instructor training to Dartmoor Search and Rescue Ashburton and other rescue teams from the Peninsula Mountain and Cave Rescue Association.  We are delighted that the team members attending the course found it both useful and enjoyable.”
Several banks and financial institutions were fined for fraudulent rigging of the London Inter-Bank Offered Rate, which was widely used to set other interest rates throughout the world. The Government announced proceeds from the fines in the UK would go to support armed forces and emergency services charities and other related good causes.
Published in News
Thursday, 10 September 2015 16:07

Major exercise tests emergency services and volunteers

Last night a large multi-agency search and rescue exercise took place on the River Dart at Newbridge, Dartmoor. A problematic area for communications consisting of rapid river levels increases, steep ground and difficult access.

Major exercise tests emergency services and volunteers

Teams from Devon and Cornwall Police and Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service were joined by voluntary sector Mountain Rescue Teams including Tavistock, Plymouth, Exmoor and Ashburton. The objective of the exercise was to promote inter-team working and best practice, as well as to test major incident handling at Bronze and Silver levels.

The scenario included 5 casualties who had decided to construct a homemade raft and got into difficulties after leaving Dartmeet, failing to arrive at the River Dart Country Park. A member of the public who alerted the authorities to the incident had got themselves involved as they slipped whilst ascending steep ground whilst trying to get a mobile signal.

Deployed teams consisting of members of all organisations were then tasked to search areas along the course of the river to locate and rescue the casualties.

Alec Collyer, Ashburton and Dartmoor Rescue Group Chairman part of the organiser team for the event said ” A major full-time / voluntary inter-agency search and rescue exercise is conducted at least once a year and tonight’s proved to be very successful. The Upper Dart Valley is a difficult area for all the agencies involved, hence sharing skills between the full-time and voluntary sector is vital to ensure any potential incidents are dealt with effectively.”

“The casualty sites required different problem solving challenges and they were purposely made awkward to test the teams.’

“Following the event, debriefs are being held to correlate learning from the exercise and the findings  will be used to improve operational procedures across all agencies.”

Alec also highlighted the contribution of the volunteer casualties. “We are very grateful  to all the members of the public who volunteered as casualties. Without them the exercise wouldn’t have been possible or as successful as it was”

Multi-agency exercise - Newbridge


Published in News
Tuesday, 25 October 2016 08:34

Mountain Rescue Casualty Care Success

Congratulations to the 16 team members who passed their Mountain Rescue Casualty Care assessment at the weekend, especially to those taking it for the first time. The MR Cas Care assessment is an advanced qualification above the standard levels of first aid competence that all our members have to have.


The team now has 34 qualified advanced ‘Cas Carers’ within the team, which is something we are very proud of. The success is testament to the time and effort put in not just by our volunteers to train, revise and take the exam, but also to our Medical Team lead by Dr Rich and Dr Tas, who put in a considerable amount of their own time to train our volunteers to the standard required.

We extend our congratulations to the volunteers who also took the assessment from other teams across the region.

Published in News
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