Saturday, 24 March 2018

Cliff Training with a Difference

The big difference with Thursday's cliff training (or rope rescue training, to give it its proper name) is that there were no cliffs!

Instead, we used out first 'rope' session for a few weeks to run through some of the basics in a sterile environment on the grassy area next to the station - at least, it was sterile after we'd taken the precautionary inspection with a torch, shovel and doggy bag. Grrr!!!

Headquarters have provided us with some new kit recently, and so we used the opportunity to do a full cliff set up on a flat piece of land and try out the new items for the first time before we take them to the cliff top.

Main line and Safety Line Operators in position.  

It also gave us the opportunity to try different people in different roles and for us to introduce our newest team member to rope 'awareness' for the first time. (Rope Awareness is actually one of the achievement levels that someone needs to have reached before being part of a rope operation.  After that comes Rope Rescue Operator and Rope Rescue Technician. There's also a requirement for an Officer In Charge as part of the rope team, but I digress, and maybe more of that another time).

Rope Technician and two Edge Safety Officers

The whole operation was performed under floodlights, which adds another dimension, and we practised two methods of recovery - the petrol winch and the Z-Drag, a basic 2:1 gearing system for hand hauling. Again, more about our different recovery options in another blog!

The orange 'stake linking straps' in the foreground have replaced the previous system of using rope lashings. The Z-Drag recovery system is in use on the far side.

After a quick cup of tea (it was a chilly night!) all the kit was checked, repacked and stowed in the vehicle ready for service.

The Technician's view - normally the view is of a pair of ropes going vertically up the cliff to the quadpod, rather than along the flat

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