On Wednesday night some of our Swift and Flood Water Rescue Technicians (SRTs) carried out a simulated rescue of a casualty from the River Dee near Llangollen. Incidents often seem to happen at night so team members need to be prepared to deal with the additional challenges brought about by operating in the dark, or reduced light. Note: All of the operations below require the use of specialist equipment and training. NEVER enter water to rescue someone – you are likely to end up as another casualty for someone to rescue – or worse!
The pictures tell the tale so look at the headings for each one (note: modern digital cameras seem to see better in the dark than humans…. other than in the torch lights it was VERY dark!)
After a safety briefing and assigning roles a quick search identified our casualty (a 45Kg Dummy). They were found entrapped in trees on an island in the river. We quickly set up a safe working system with downstream swimmers and up stream spotters, before a team member swam across to the island towing a special type of semi floating rope. It’s important not to use ordinary rope as that sinks and creates an extra entrapment hazard. He secured the rope and assessed the casualty. Rapid evacuation back to our side of the river was deemed the best action.
Next step was to build a rope system to transfer another rescuer across. This is known as a tension diagonal, a rope strung at the correct angle and tension can be slid along using the downstream current to push the rescuer across to the other side.
Once the rope system was ready the next rescuer attached to the line and slid across to assist with moving the casualty.
Next we quickly got the casualty and rescuer attached to the rope, which had now been released and just held in hands for control, ready to “pendulum” back across to the river bank, again using the water flow to move the rescuer and casualty across the river.
The casualty is safely held by the rescuer who is attached from the back of their Personal Floatation Device. The second rescuer on the island has a second rope attached to pull back the main rope so he can be recovered after the casualty is safely at the side of the river.
A third rescuer helps to get the casualty back upstream to where they can be extracted up the river bank to safety.
Once at the safe extraction point the team prepared the casualty to be carried up to a safe area away from the waters edge.
All that was left was the usual debrief to highlight learning points.
A great session!
Permanent link to this article: https://newsar.org.uk/2019/11/water-rescue-training-at-llangollen/
NEWSAR hosted the Mountain Rescue England and Wales (MREW) Party Leaders Course over the weekend. In total 35 team member attended from 15 teams, ranging from Cornwall to Cleveland!
The course was delivered by instructors from across MREW, led by long standing NEWSAR team member Iain Ashcroft. Iain explained “This course provides very practical instruction to experienced team members who are looking to step up to leading hill parties. The course focuses on Leadership skills and is primarily scenario based. We couldn’t run this course without the skilled instructional staff and the volunteer casualties, many of which are NEWSAR Supporters. We were also joined by mock casualties from Airbus at Broughton as part of their support for the team this year. There was some fantastic acting on show again, BAFTAs to be awarded!”
Chris Griffiths, NEWSAR Team Leader, said “NEWSAR is very proud to hold this course and the fact that it is consistently over subscribed is testament to the high regard it is held in by teams from around England and Wales. As on previous occasions Kingswood Colomendy provided their brilliant facilities and grounds and we are very grateful for their continued support.”
Two NEWSAR team members, Jon and Mike, attended the course as students and will now go on to serve as Party Leaders on future team callouts. Final word to one of the participants who said “I can only describe it as an utterly awesome and incredible weekend. Empowering, educational and emotional.”
Permanent link to this article: https://newsar.org.uk/2019/11/mountain-rescue-england-and-wales-party-leaders-course/
NEWSAR is thrilled to receive a £650 donation from two sponsored events. David Jones, Chairman of Lyan Packaging sponsored a charity golf day held at Chester Golf Club, attended by 17 teams and a Darts exhibition evening by darting legends, John Lowe MBE and Dennis Priestley at Stiwt in Rhosllanerchrugog. The two events raised a total of £1,300 and this has been split between NEWSAR and the Wales Air Ambulance. Gerald Davison, Deputy Team Leader NEWSAR said, “This significant donation is gratefully received, thanks to everyone who took part in the events and raised such a fantastic sum for the team!” Andy Hopwood and Paul Harper from the North Wales Deaf Golf Society came to NEWSAR’s base to hand over the cheque to Fundraising Officer Gill Brailsford. The money will be used to provide financial help towards the landrovers and fuel to keep the team running for the next six months. Some will be towards the cost of a stretcher wheel which will help us enormously when we have to carry casualties over long distances.
Pictured. NEWSAR Fundraising Officer Gill Brailsford accepting the £650 cheque from Andy Hopwood and Paul Harper from the North Wales Deaf Golf Society.
Permanent link to this article: https://newsar.org.uk/2019/11/donation-from-golf-day-and-darts-exhibition/