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    Thursday, 14 June 2018 14:55

    We don't always train on Dartmoor

    We aren’t always training on the moor.

    Last night we were in the South Hams in S Devon training on the water at Aveton Gifford. The village sits alongside the River Avon, also known as the River Aune. Why do we train there?

    Dartmoor Search and Rescue Ashburton volunteers training on the River Aune at Aveton Gifford

    Well there is a tidal road that is submerged by the incoming tide that on spring tides is covered for about two hours before and after high tide. This gives us conditions that are the nearest we can get to recreating a flooding incident, such as when we were called to the York Floods major incident in 2015.

    Dartmoor Rescue volunteers entering the River Aune at Aveton Gifford whilst training

     

    There are lots of things to be aware of for our team members during flooding and the tidal road allows us to train so that we are well prepared for any events we are called too.

    Dartmoor Search and Rescue volunteers wading the River Aune during a training exercise in the South Hams

    Water and flood rescue is a key part of what we do, with the Upper Dart being a hot spot for previous searches, rescues and recoveries. Hence we make sure our team volunteers are trained to operate safely around any water course.

    Dartmoor rescue members wading the River Aune tidal road at Aveton Gifford

    All of our members who want to be on water-based call outs need to undergo specialist water rescue training before being allowed in the water. The team has four levels of training that use the 'Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)  Module' water safety and rescue training guidelines '.

    'Mod1 trained members provides general water safety awareness training and basic land-based rescue techniques and are not allowed in the water.

    Dartmoor Rescue team members wading the River Aune tidal road at Aveton Gifford with a Water Rescue Systems sled.

    Those in yellow helmets are trained to 'Mod 2' (Water First Responders) level and are trained to work safely near and in water, using land-based and wading techniques, and must remain 'non-bouyant' should they go in the water..

    Our red helmets are Mod 3 Swiftwater Rescue Technicians and they can undertake advanced/specialist water rescue operations that could require swimming.

    Dartmoor Rescue personnel training with a Water Rescue Systems sled on the tidal road at Aveton Gifford

    Finally we have our water incident managers who wear white helmets, and they’re 'Mod 5'. that covers water-related operational and tactical incident command relating to local incidents. 

    Dartmoor Search and Rescue Ashburton water team members carrying a casualty on a Water Rescue Systems sled

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