Training of the DSRT Ashburton is targeted at two main purposes. Firstly for continuous training of our established members and hill party leaders. Secondly for the introduction of new recruits into the team. New recruits (trainees) are vital to the ongoing success of the team and bring new ideas into the team
Hill Party Leaders
Within the team we appoint hill party leaders. These individuals are usually the most experienced members of the team who have been appointed to lead member parties. Hill party leaders undertake a formal training program to establish themselves within the role. A log book must be completed as part of a formal training program before a candidate leader is proposed before the committee. As a Hill Party Leader they have the key responsibility for team safety and decision making. They must be skilled in all aspects of search and rescue prior to being selected. They also liaise with the team controllers in order to co-ordinate search and rescue operations.
Trainees (new recruits)
The log book must be completed prior to being nominated to becoming a hill party member. The log book consists of all aspects of search and rescue including such items as Navigation, Radio Ops, First Aid, Helicopter Training, Rope Work etc…. On training exercises a trainee will normally be appointed to one of the specific tasks mentioned above with a full member shadowing them. If performing the task to DRG requirements a hill party leader will then normally sign the log book to formalise the training. The log book usually takes 12-14 months to complete. As an example Navigation includes core skills such as hand railing, aiming off, attack points etc. Each skill must be completed in 3 different weather conditions, usually at night. Academic suitability by completion of the log is only a part of the training. The other element requires the trainee to show general team working skills and a sound personality fit for the team.
To apply to become a trainee, contact us, via our Contact Page, and ask for an application form. Please bear in mind that being a member of a mountain rescue team is a considerable commitment. Not just callouts and weekly training throughout the year, but additional training weekends and, of course fundraising as we rely on the public and our own team members and trainees for around 92% of our funding.
Once a team member there are a number of specialised areas that can be pursued. The team has an established swift water team for inland water ways, plus a skilled rope team for steep ground work. In addition to this specific training areas open up for helicopter experience with RAF Chivenor and SARDA, the search and rescue dog handlers.