At the beginning of the first lockdown almost a year ago with time on my hands I got involved in volunteering for Water Search and Rescue Team. Since then I have never looked back, having joined a group I now class as friends, who all share the same outlook: a love of the outdoors, the willingness to want to help others and achieving positive outcomes.
My journey has not been easy going from newcomer to the group, to an advanced water technician. Having started with all the paperwork,DBS checking and occupational health checks to ensure that every member of the team is suitable to volunteer with the public.
Next came the medical training: First Response Emergency Care Level 3 and 4, Safe Administration of Lifesaving Medication and Mental Health First Aider. All these add to the abilities of the team to be able to care for the people for whom we are called to help. These skills are also taken back into the communities workplaces and families of the responders when they are not out on response with the team.
Finally I got to the Water Rescue training which is what I had originally signed up for due to my passion for watersports. This was the first time that the 3 required courses had been run back to back over a 10 day period, which allowed progression over and above that which is normally achieved. Swift Water rescue training covering the basics of how and when to enter water and what you require in place to be able to. Advanced rescue technician covering techniques for accessing more isolated places and casualty extraction. The third course run in controlled environment of Pinkstons Watercourse in Glasgow was Rescue from Vehicles.
None of this could have been possible without the equipment that each responder receives, in order to be protected from the environments in which they will operate. Every item within a responders kit bag has been chosen to comply with relevant current safety regulations across multiple potential applications. Advice on this is sought from manufacturers, distributors, government bodies, including DEFRA under whom the team operates. All of this equipment is vital to enable a trained responder to operate as part of the team, and at a cost of £1742 per responder is a huge commitment for the organisation to outlay. The team believes in the factor that anyone should be able to join, and as such do not ask for any member to pay for their equipment that they need to train and help others in need.
The kitbag includes the following items:
Total Cost Per Responder: £1742.00
Are you able to fund a single item for one kit bag? Are you able to fund 10?
Just think, the team could be helping you or one of your friends in the future? Everyone involved in the team is a volunteer, and with no paid staff relies solely on donations, grants, and fundraising initiatives to keep it running.
Monkey and Woe are "helping" sort equipment...
Monkey is perfecting his white water skills ready for the training course, Elephant forgot his trunks so is on Downstream backup! If only they had full kit to keep them safe and dry!