Team members are required to have a First Aid certificate, which is current for three years, and providing the accredited training is one of the costs the team must cover.
The weekend of 22nd- 24th of November saw team members attend a First Aid course at Allison Cargill House in East Lothian. This venue, a Girl Guides’ centre, enabled team members to stay over the Friday and Saturday nights. The training was provided by JBSafesite Training and one of the instructors was a medical lecturer from Dundee University, the other a paramedic and member of Lomond Mountain Rescue Team. Our own paramedic, Steve, organised the weekend.
Hands on training on such things as maintaining airways, CPR, applying wound dressings, tourniquets, and traction splints was interspersed with lectures on medical conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, anaphylaxis, and epilepsy.
Scenarios were also staged in the grounds of the centre, and small groups of team members worked together to provide appropriate care in weather conditions that were testing. A final scenario involved the whole team handling a major incident with a number of casualties. These casualties were triaged by two team members sorting them into priorities 1, 2 and 3 and members then assigned to provide the necessary care, all done in pouring rain.
Scottish Mountain Rescue had advised teams about concerns regarding off road driving and the danger of a vehicle rolling. As a result the team has started the process of having anti-roll bars fitted to their Land Rovers. This development is timely as in September the Keswick MRT suffered the loss of a rescue vehicle when it rolled during a callout, with five team members suffering, thankfully, only minor injuries. To get the vehicle ready for the work all the equipment, fittings in the rear of the vehicle, as well as the roof rack, blue lights, spot lights and aerials had to be removed. All this was done on a particularly raw day in the team garage without the benefit of heating. It also means that the team will be reduced to two functioning vehicles until all these fitments are back in place.
National training courses are provided by Scottish Mountain Rescue, the representative body of the teams. Two team members attended a weekend Search Management course and one of those also undertook the trainers 4 x 4 two day refresher course meaning he had spent a total of six days training in November, quite a commitment by an unpaid volunteer. Scottish MR also provide courses on avalanche rescue and rigging rescue at various levels.
Finally team members responded to a call to assist Tweed Valley MRT with a search for 6 and 9 year old boys who had been dropped off at their school in Rosewell but went missing. The team was on their way when police located the boys safe and well.
BSARU is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation SCo232213