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Standby 2013

Friday, 04 October 2019 14:25

It's not just about training and callouts

Written by

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 ->

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Charity Number: 1106098.