It was late July when the email came inviting me to the Mountain Rescue open night…
‘Come along, see what we do and what we’re all about’ followed with a rather cryptic six figure grid reference noting the location of the base!
I knew the organisation was ran by volunteers and I was aware the team catered for searches as well as more common rescue incidents but it wasn’t until the full capabilities of the team were showcased that evening that I began to get a flavour of what a diverse, wide range of operations the team deliver.
After being softened up with plenty of cups of tea and feeling suitably impressed, I signed on the dotted line to register my interest…
A few weeks later I was invited, with others from the night, to a navigational assessment on a patch of local open moorland to test our map reading, pacing and compass work. This proved a lot tougher than the label ‘local open moorland’ would suggest! However, with the assessment complete we were welcomed to the team as prospective members.
A training plan kick-started soon after with demonstrations in casualty handling, water awareness and our first introduction to the huge amount of kit and equipment needed to keep the team prepared for any tasking.
Mountain Rescue demands a lot of time for the training commitment alone and we have already began learning lifesaving and primary survey skills as part of the structured syllabus that works towards a national casualty care certificate.
Training alongside the regular members helped towards integrating into the team. In particular the camaraderie at the exercises away from the base at Clay Bank, Fryup and Saltburn made us feel very welcome.
Encouraged by this, myself and the other prospective ‘newbies’ have set up a communal ‘whats app’ group and have met up on regular occasions to polish up the navigation skills, improve our fitness or share a pint.
So a couple of months in as a prospective members and we are all enjoying the experience, there is even talk of putting a team together for the ‘total warrior’ challenge in 2018 to do our bit for fundraising towards Cleveland MRT. Watch this space…