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Training Day - 14/11/2015

On Saturday the 14th November the Team had their first real opportunity to work with the new Sikorsky S-92 Search and Rescue helicopter. This was part of a planned training session with the helicopter landing at the Team’s base at Derry Lodge. We were all eager to see how the helicopter coped with the limited landing zone at the Derry and the fact that it turned out to be a particularly windy day made for an interesting spectacle as it swooped in and made a perfect landing. After shutting down we had an opportunity to do a ground briefing with the Winchman and a basic familiarisation of the aircraft. As always this was a great opportunity meet the crew and generally get to know some of the people we are likely to be working with over the weeks, months and years ahead. We also had an opportunity to practice some “high line” procedures whilst lowering and raising a stretcher from a hovering helicopter. Although the helicopter was with us for three hours we did not unfortunately manage to get everything done that we would have liked before it had to head back to Inverness, but no doubt there will be other opportunities.

Prior to the arrival of the helicopter we spent some time familiarising everyone with our avalanche transceiver protocol in preparation for the winter. This is a vital part of ensuring the safety of Team members when out and about in the hills during winter and something which we need to be very slick at. After the helicopter departed we headed up on to Carn Crom where working in small groups we did some avalanche transceiver searching and worked through a variety of first aid scenarios before undertaking a stretcher carry with a “casualty” back to the Derry. It was good to see the first snow of the winter on the tops and all in all a very useful training day with lots of variety and learning opportunities.


Words by Mario Di Maio