Eleven Cheddar Cave Club (ChCC) members and four Mendip Cave Rescue Wardens took part in a joint rescue practice at North Hill Swallet, Priddy, on Sunday 17/03/19. The simulated scenario was that a party of cavers had raised a rescue callout due to one of the party suffering a serious fall-related injury at the bottom of the entrance pitch. This session aimed at focusing on casualty care - lifting and packaging an unconscious caver (in this case MCR's dummy) - and rigging two Z-rig hauling systems to the MCR tripod above the cave's concrete entrance pipes. At the debrief, the Wardens were pleased with how the ChCC members had worked as a team. The club enjoyed the opportunity to visit the MCR store and gain first-hand experience of using the rescue equipment.
Photographs taken by Estelle Sandford
A surface rescue practice evening is to be held with a search around the Longwood Valley / Velvet Bottom area, to include the use of the surface radios, is to be held on Thursday 26th July 2018. Meet at the Black Rock car park at 19:30. This training event is open to all cavers.
The Sunday the 6th May Mendip Cave Rescue will be holding a rescue workshop as part of the Mendip CaveFest 2018 weekend. The rescue workshop will be held underground in G.B. cave, where there will be four different workshops held in different locations in the cave. These will be:
- Communications - to be held at the entrance to Mud Passage from the Gorge.
- Stretcher packaging - to be held in the Gorge above the Bridge.
- Pitch hauling - to be held at the fixed ladder in the Devil's Elbow route.
- Casualty assessment ("what to do before rescue turns up") - to be held on the 1st climb in the Mud Passage route.
There will be at least two MCR rescue wardens plus all the relevant equipment at each location.
The rescue workshop is open to all interested cavers, but please note that following:
- Valid Charterhouse Caving Company permits will be required for everyone who ventures underground.
- Please park considerately at the farm (as usual), making a £1 donation per car, and respect any directions from the farmer. It is recommended that people share cars to minimise parking space.
- MCR will have a 'checking in' tent close to the entrance. Everyone who goes underground will need to check in.
There will be two time slots for cavers who wish to go underground - 10:30 and 13:00. Each slot can have up to 20 cavers (4 teams of 5 people, entering the cave at 5 minute intervals). Please can anyone who wants to attend register in advance with the CaveFest website, or with the CaveFest organisers over the weekend.
Gloucestershire Cave Rescue Group (GCRG) have been running regular weekend training for years, and they are developing an extensive indoor training area which includes rigging points. GCRG have started to use this by running a couple of evening sessions, with an invitation extended to neighbouring cave rescue teams, combined with the Severn Bridge now being free, a few of the MCR wardens thought it would be good to go along and make use of this facility. On an extremely cold day at the end of February 2019 the facilities provided an excellent location. The training was split into three skill levels with various scenarios. The MCR team focused on stretcher hauling, trying some more unusual techniques that with practice and a bit more refinement may prove useful in the future. This sharing of knowledge while pushing the boundaries is an excellent way for both teams to enhance their capabilities.
Photograph taken by Andrew Atkinson
A rescue practice to be held in Goatchurch Cavern is to be held on Sunday 28th January 2018. Meet at the carpark by the toilets ready to go underground at 14:00. This training event is open to all cavers, and will concentrate on stretcher packaging and hauling, with an additional communications element (depending on numbers).