On Saturday 13 members of the team assembled at Shaugh Bridge carpark for rope training, led by Team Leader Steve L and Alex H. After getting all of the gear out of our Technical Rescue vehicle 74, we made our way to The Dewerstone with ropes, stretcher and equipment.
On arrival at our chosen practice site, we had an initial brief with the outline for the day and then split into small groups. Because of the need to work in close proximity to each other, we followed the team Covid-19 protocol and wore protective masks throughout the day.
Group one worked on anchors, an essential skill that needs to be practised and forms the basis of our rescue systems. We looked at how to select an unquestionably sound anchor, angles, and different ways to tie into that anchor – including the use of slings and the rope. We also had an opportunity to practice various knots, and to discuss the merits and cons of each.
Group two worked on lowering and raising a team member using a Petzl ID (industrial descender) device. Each team member practised being lowered and raise up & down a short slope, and also using the lowering device, as well as working on the commands needed for raising and lowering.
The day concluded with a rescue exercise. The team leader allocated roles, and the job was to move a stretcher from the base of the Dewerstone to the top of the steps. After rigging a twin rope system, we had an opportunity to discuss what we had set up and why, before dispatching 6 members of the team to the bottom of the steps. On arrival at the stretcher, the team quickly attached the rope system, and we set about moving it back up to the top.
We then had a thorough debrief of what we had covered throughout the day. After packing the kit and returning to the vehicle, it turned out we were very lucky having dodged the forecast torrential rain. A great and informative day was had by all.