What to wear
What to take
On the hill
About the team
   Meet the team
   Operational area
   Search dogs
   Team training
   How to join
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Team training

swift water trainingAs modern mountain rescue becomes ever more technical and employs increasingly sophisticated techniques and equipment, it is essential for team members to stay up to date with latest developments. Safety is paramount, both for team members and casualties alike and this, as well as achieving a high standard of operational efficiency and effectiveness, is emphasised in all aspects of the team's training.

Kirkby Stephen Mountain Rescue Team training is the responsibility of the team's Training Officer. Regular training sessions are held on one Friday evening and one Wednesday evening each month. The Friday evening training is usually a simulated search and rescue scenario in the hills. Needless to say, these exercises go ahead whatever the weather.

Wednesday evenings generally take the form of a training session covering one or two specific skills. In addition, throughout the year, there are a number of other sessions that can involve evenings, full days or weekends. Joint exercises with other nearby teams also take place from time to time. Team members are expected to be regular attendees at training sessions.

Training is wide-ranging, covering all aspects of the knowledge and skills in which team members are expected to become proficient. The following are examples of the areas covered:

Casualty Care and First Aid
Expertise in this area is top priority and each year team members are offered three specialised courses at different levels:

  • Red Cross basic first aid (1 day)
  • Red Cross Mountaineering & Expedition Course (2.5 days)
    This is the minimimun standard required for team membership
  • Mountain Rescue Certificate (20 hours teaching, followed by written theory and practical examinations).

In addition to these specific courses, much of the team's training is focussed on the use of the equipment for the care and extraction of casualties.

Other areas

  • Navigation
  • Working with rescue helicopters (rescue helicopters are operated by the RAF and we are grateful to their personnel for providing us with training opportunities)
  • Search and rescue methods, including techniques for searching and the management of incidents
  • Crag rescue and ropework
  • Water rescue
  • On and off road driving of the team Land Rovers, including "blue light" driving
  • Radio communications

crag trainingAs you would expect, many of the skills required to be learnt are specific to mountain rescue situations. However many also have a wider application. Through the attainment of these skills team members also feel that they gain something as individuals, not only through increased confidence in mountain situations, but also in day to day life.

If you would like to become involved with the team please see our How to Join page.


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