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Success for mountain rescue volunteers as they complete major Peak District training exercise

Posted on 7th June 2018

As we celebrate national volunteers’ week, we thought we would share a recent success for Buxton and Derby mountain rescue teams.

It’s as more than 100 rescue team volunteers, which include some of our own officers, took part in a major simulated search exercise in the Peak District.

Buxton Mountain Rescue Team organised the event, which included volunteers from Derby Mountain Rescue, Cheshire and Staffordshire Search and Rescue teams and Watersafe UK, at Blackshaw Moor on Saturday, May 12.

The exercise was based around finding a missing child in a wide search area, which gave the team the chance to test out how they could use a drone, which is currently on loan to the rescue volunteers.

They also ended up treating a real-life casualty during the exercise, a trail biker who had suffered suspected collar bone injuries.

Rob Stordy, Deputy Team Leader for Buxton Mountain Rescue Team, organised the exercise. Rob is also a police officer who works on our response and investigation teams in the Derbyshire Dales.

He said: “Despite some very challenging additional scenarios being thrown in to keep the search teams on their toes, they still managed to locate, treat and recover the ‘missing child’ with an impressive degree of speed and skill.

“The exercise was also the first real test for our new drone team, who used the drone which is on loan to us very effectively. We were able to view footage from the drone to help with planning and it was the drone team who managed to find the ‘missing child’ first.

“This has further confirmed our view that drones are likely to play an essential role in mountain rescue in the future, so we will be fundraising for this project now harder than ever. We are still £2000 short of our fundraising target for the project, so any donations really are very welcome.”

Rob added: “All teams worked very well together and we are very confident that should we be called up on to help with any sort of major incident, including high risk missing children, that we would be able to provide an extremely effective joint response.”

Volunteers’ week runs between Friday, June 1 and Thursday, June 7, and gives organisations the chance to thank volunteers and recognise the contribution they make.

As well as our officers giving their own free time as volunteers, we have 366 volunteers who give their time as part of the Derbyshire Constabulary family – 207 special constables, 94 police support volunteers (PSVs) and 65 cadets.

They carry out a range of roles, from specials who support regular police officers to PSVs, who help us in areas such as vehicle inventory, role acting during training events and community support.

Chief Superintendent Dick Hargreaves, who is in charge of operational policing, said: “Mountain, hillside and remote rescues can be difficult and risky for those involved, and so training exercises like these are essential in helping prepare the teams for any challenges they may face, and to test out their skills and equipment

“I would like to thank both the volunteers who took part in the exercise and our mountain rescue teams overall for the valuable service they provide. They can be called upon at all times of the day and night to help in many different kinds of incidents, from searches for missing people to situations where their specialist skills and equipment can provide a lifeline to people who are lost, stranded or injured.”

Ch. Supt. Hargreaves added: “This week has given us the chance to raise the profile of the work of volunteers who selflessly give up their time to help the policing family, and the communities we serve across Derbyshire.”

You can follow the work of the Buxton Mountain Rescue Team volunteers on Twitter, @BuxtonMRT, or why not check out our other Derbyshire volunteers: @DerbysPSVs @DerbysSpecials and @DerbysCadets.

To find out more about becoming a special or a Police Support Volunteer, visit the careers section of our website by clicking here.

Applications for the cadet scheme are currently closed.

Companies wishing to find out more about ESP can visit our dedicate webpage by clicking here, and can also contact us at ESP@Derbyshire.pnn.police.uk.

Do you need a quick answer to a general question? Then we recommend you visit the national Ask The Police web site.