To maintain a fully-operational team, we need to regularly recruit new members. In mid-November the east section welcomed five new trainees to their number and over the weekend the west section also ran an induction day for new recruits. These induction days offer the opportunity for those interested in joining the team to see what we do and how we operate and also for us to assess the basic skills that they already have.
Following a general introduction to the team and an explanation of team kit, the seven inductees headed out on a navigation exercise in the Poldice Valley in what was rather poor (and typical) wet weather. After lunch, we ran some simple first-aid scenarios, followed by the inductees planning and carrying out a search for a missing runner. Having successfully located the casualty, they provided first-aid care before packaging them for evacuation along the valley in a team stretcher.
Of the seven inductees, two decided that the team wasn’t for them, with the remaining five all demonstrating the appropriate skills and attitude needed to be accepted as trainees. Now the hard work starts for them, joining weekly training sessions and weekend SAREXs, aiming to earn the red jacket at the end of the process.
The team are engaged in a new fund-raising effort, hoping to secure donations to replace some of our vital rescue equipment. In conjunction with The Big Give, we are seeking pledges of funding which may then be selected for matched funding from The Big Give’s Christmas Challenge.
So anyone wanting to help support the team can easily double their donation simply by pledging the money now, to be donated later in the year. This stage of the process is for larger pledges only (£100 or more), though smaller donations to be matched can be made later in the year. These original pledges need to be submitted by 31st August though, so if you’re thinking about donating in the next few months then please pledge your support now!
50 team members
Now 2015 is becoming a distant memory, we’d like to take the opportunity to thank the long list of people who’ve supported the Team through the past year. Aside from the 50 volunteer call-out list members who have given up their time so freely over the year, at all times of day, in all weathers, we’d like to thank their immediate families, whose support and understanding is essential to maintain an effective and motivated Team.
But we would equally not be able to do what we do without the support of our dedicated fund-raisers, who work as hard as we do to fund some of our £18,000 annual operating costs. We’d particularly like to thank Pete’s Dragons and ‘Thinking of Del‘ whose tireless efforts continue to humble us.
2015 saw the team called-out 48 times, primarily to assist in searches alongside Devon and Cornwall Police, though also to assist in the rescue and evacuation of three injured people from difficult locations. Team members were placed on stand-by 12 times and there were numerous other situations where search advice was offered without the need to call-out the whole team.
The year also saw the Team deploy to the Isles of Scilly for the first time, with a dozen members spending three nights on Tresco as part of a major search (more details here). On average, each team member covered 38 km searching over this time (456 km in total), and in effect the ‘area swept’ (the ground effectively covered by the Team) was 6.8 square kilometres, all on an island 2.9 square kilometres in area!
2015 also saw the team working hard to develop it’s new two-section model, with a new home for the west section in United Downs requiring 100 litres of paint to convert it from a carpentry unit into a facility suitable for housing two vehicles and providing training space. Whilst east section are still searching for a new home, we’d like to thank Devon and Cornwall Police for continuing to host our vehicle and kit in Bodmin.
4 new controllers, 3 SARDA dogs, 2 new cas-carers and a new Water Officer for the Team
Aside from responding 24/7 to call-outs, many team members also continued to develop their skills, attending a wide variety of training courses across the country. Our SARDA dog handlers ventured as far as the Lake District, with Hill Party Leaders training in north Wales and our PR/Media Officer travelling to south Wales. More locally, in-house we were pleased to recruit and train two new cas-carers (with more to come) and four new controllers, along with new faces in the roles of Water Officer and Membership Officer.
2304 Facebook followers
During the year we’ve almost doubled our following on social media, such a vital tool to spread news, advice and fund-raising please in the modern word. The new website also received over 28,000 views over the year, with almost 800 on one day alone.
So thank you once again to everyone who supported the Tam in 2015 and we look forward to an exciting 2016 (already off to a running start – pun intended!).
We’re delighted and proud to announce that we have a new patron for the team in the form of the iconic Cornish comedian ‘Kernow King’ (Ed Rowe). His patronage was announced at a photo-call at the historic Carn Brea just outside Redruth.
Ed has been a long supporter of the team and hosted our auction night at the Eden Project earlier in the year. As a great fan of the outdoors, he has an understanding of what the team do and what we stand for, and has even suggested he’ll be coming out as a ‘casualty’ for us at a future training session! So we’d like to welcome Ed to our ranks and look forward to working with him on various exciting projects in the future.
We’d just like to say big thank-you to the guys at Newquay Activity Centre who completed a 10-hour Ultimate Coasteering Challenge in September, raising over £1000 for local charities. Five staff members from the centre swam, traversed cliffs, jumped and rock climbed from St Agnes to Newquay harbour, covering a staggering 24km of ocean and cliff face. This pushed them to the limit of their endurance and strength and we’re pleased they took it on without inviting us to join in!
Anyone still wanting to support the guys can donate via their online fundraising page.
We recently hosted a small team of students from the University of Falmouth who were interested in filming the work of our search and rescue dogs. The result of their efforts is now online and gives an insight into how these amazing animals (and their handlers) work.
Several of the team were involved in a rather unusual callout on the weekend whilst on a SARDA (Search And Rescue Dog Association) training weekend. Two dog handlers and a ‘body’ were involved in training at Holming Beam, near Princetown, when we were alerted to a Ten Tors team reporting two injured members on Beardown Tor. After an initial assessment, Dartmoor Search and Rescue Team – Tavistock were requested to send their Landrover with stretcher up to help, and a small group of dog handlers and bodies were able to evacuate the injured walkers safely off the moor to their team bus. In a great multi-team effort, the stretcher carry-off involved members from Dartmoor SRT – Tavistock, Dartmoor SRT – Plymouth, Cornwall SRT, Woodhead MRT, Bolton MRT, Longtown MRT, Derby MRT, Buxton MRT and even Westward Ho! Coastguard.
We’re happy to report that the East Cornwall Harriers Five Tors run yesterday was a resounding success, with just a single jarred back needing any kind of treatment from team medics! Results of the run are now up on the East Cornwall Harriers website.