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Training 23/01 | Swiftwater and Flood Rescue Technician (SRT)

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On Monday 20th of January, it was time for the start of the SRT course for Colin and myself, joined by Sam from Ashburton team, Dave from Okehampton team and 5 members from Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Services.

Monday at Service Headquarters DSFRS.
After a morning of theory, we were getting hands-on with the ropes in the afternoon. Learning some new knots and new ways to do other knots.

Tuesday at River Dart Country Park.

Time to get into the water! It was still below ZERO!!!🥶 So everybody was dressed up warm to bear the cold water as we start with defensive and aggressive swimming, enjoying the rides the River Dart has to offer. After a warm lunch, it was back to the ropes, building rope systems 1 to 3 up to 1 to 9 learning the different ways to set this up even with limited gear.

Wednesday at River Dart Country Park.
By now the cold was replaced by mist and drizzle, this morning was all about gear in and around the water. A sledge was deployed to build a water crossing to move our casualty safely over the River Dart. After lunch, we did some rescue swimming with the casualty hanging behind us as we tried to cross the River Dart (it sounds harder then it is), some more Casualty Care in the water, wading with a stretcher to the casualty and back.

Thursday at Cardiff International White Water.
The day everybody has been waiting for!!!🤪 Fast-moving water and man-made obstacles and of course the “Pool of shame”. Now it is time to put all we had been learning in the last three days to the test. After a dry run of the 250-metre hairpin-shaped course, the pumps are switch on and started pushing 6 cubic metres of water per second. We moved from the start of the course from eddy to eddy before for we start doing rescues with throw lines bringing our colleagues in before we jump in ourselves 🙂 By that time we had worked up a big appetite.

In the afternoon the pumps were pushed up to 8 cubic metres of water per second to put us on a bit more pressure as we moved the casualty across the water on the sledge first, using our throw lines and second time using a high line to get across different parts of the course. Afterwards, we did some live bating with two people on the throw line and 8 cubic metre water flowing – true this was not easy but good training.

As the training was finished there was some time left to do a couple of rounds of WHITE WATER RAFTING having some fun together. We would like to thank DSFRS trainers Jonathan and Steve for great Course.

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