Kinder MRT/Derbyshire FRS joint exercise success
Today the team was out with Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) undertaking a joint exercise to test inter-agency operations; as the flooding incidents of 2015 demonstrated all too clearly, Mountain Rescue Teams and FRS can be called upon to work closely together under difficult circumstances, and that’s not the time to discover that working methods are incompatible.
With numerous water bodies and rivers in the team’s area, and Derbyshire FRS specialist water resource being based in Matlock, it was evident that the team’s skills with in-water searches and casualty recovery is a valuable resource that the FRS may wish to use more frequently.
The exercise scenario involved a report of 2 people have capsized a raft on the River Goyt upstream of New Mills; with no further information, the exercise necessitated a search and potential rescue mission or, in the worst case, an exercise-body recovery situation.
The casualties were soon located, both on the water’s edge although in difficult situations, and both were treated in-situ before being recovered to safe ground.
Most striking was the rapidity of action of the FRS, being used to time-critical life-or-death emergency situations, compared to the more considered approach within MR – it’s not often that we have minutes to save a life; usually, we’re scaling Kinder carrying a ton of gear, or carrying out detailed, methodical searches for the police.
FRS crews from New Mills, Glossop and Whaley Bridge were in attendance and much was learnt; the consensus was that more of the same training should be undertaken.