There is a vigorous training program that must be completed by every prospective new member and by all badged member on a year by year basis. This is recommended by MREW.
The training is done over a series of evening sessions. Training includes night navigation, first aid, casualty handling, radio procedures, security on steep ground, river bank searches, health and safety and search techniques. Applicants for membership are expected to be at least 18 years of age. They must be able to demonstrate a knowledge of Dartmoor and be an experienced and capable walker.
Training in the special skills required is given by the team but those who are accepted as members are expected to have the appropriate kit and knowledge to be self-sufficient on the moor for up to 24 hours.
We now have several team members trained to the higher Casualty Care level and others as Swift Water Rescue Technicians as well as Search Dog Handler. These are options only available to badged members.
A search can be at any time of the year and any time of day or night. Once the subject is found every team member has a task to ensure the stabilisation and smooth evacuation of the casualty.
Stretcher carry-offs may be several miles over rough terrain and demand a high level of expertise and fitness to ensure the casualty arrives at hospital in a condition to allow a speedy recovery. Good teamwork, which only comes from regular practice is essential so everyone knows they can rely on each other to do what is needed and expected.