North Dartmoor Search and Rescue Team has had a busy autumn. Sunday evening saw their 33rd call out of the year, to assist an injured walker on the moors; that’s an increase from last year’s 24 callouts.
The callout followed 2 weekends in the water for 10 members; learning about the hazards of working in or near fast flowing or flood water; how to search for and rescue people using wading techniques, swimming on a rope tether and even an inflatable sled; how to set up rope systems and pulling people out of weirs. All 10 members achieved the standard of Swift Water Rescue Technician, this means that they have the skills to work alongside other emergency services at major flood events, as some members did at the York floods last Christmas; and the capability to rescue people eg kayakers from fast flowing rivers.
Practising a rescue from a weir
The team is also really enjoying watching progress being made by others! Following our crowdfunding campaign last spring and grants and donations including from Okehampton United Charites, Awards for All and Devon County Council’s Locality budget; we’ve raised enough money for the building works to convert our industrial unit into a purpose built rescue centre with a training room, equipment drying and storage facilities, and vehicle garaging. We’re hoping to be fully moved in and making good use of all the new facilities by Easter.
Building work underway at Rescue Centre