When it comes to Training, the Hebrides Search and Rescue Team are most certainly NOT hanging about. Since February this year, the Team has been introduced to the Coastguard Helicopter, carried out Radio Communication training, gained hands on experience with the MacInnes MK6 Stretcher and other specialist medical equipment in addition to the weekend outdoor training sessions.
In February, team members received training in the use of the ICOM Radio equipment by a member of Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team. This is a vital piece of personal equipment so that the Team can stay in contact during a call out. Whilst the MRC of S provide the basic radio equipments, the Team is expected to purchase addition kit to enhance their performance.
Early March saw the team receiving familiarisation training on the S92 Coastguard Helicopter at Stornoway Airport. Captain Alun Tink started the familiarisation with the comment ‘Myself and the crew are going to rely heavily on you guys for safely approaching and entering the aircraft. Equally important is how to safely rig a casualty to the winch’. He made it clear that ‘it’s not like going on your holidays and expecting the aircrew to brief you on the seats being in the upright position, seatbelts fastened etc’. The remainder of the evening was spent getting up close and personal with the aircraft in the comfort of its hangar.
All this the training proved invaluable. The next time we saw the S92 was on a call out to Benbecula a couple of weeks later when some of the Team boarded the aircraft in Stornoway and Harris. The radio training was also put to task during the search and whilst the outcome was very unfortunate, all team members have a clear understanding of their responsibilities to the Community of the Western Isles.
HebSAR has also seen seven new aspirant members so Team Leader Mike Walker welcomes Antonio, Deborah, Nik, Malcolm, Richard, Rosie and Roddy.
Looking forward to the near future, the Team will be hosting a ‘bag pack’ session at the Co-Op in MacAulay Road on Friday 20th April to help raise much needed funds. This will be followed by a First Aid weekend delivered by British Association of Ski Patrollers (BASP) to give a formal qualification in Casualty-Care. At the end of April a training day reinforcing all the basic skills will be delivered for the benefit of all the team members.
Interested in becoming a Team Member?
Then contact our Team Leader: Mike Walker at firstname.lastname@example.org
Article by: Richard Hemmings