After the disappointment of the March training being snowed off, our newest International Response Team recruits got back into the swing at the weekend with an introduction to Urban Search And Rescue (USAR).
A good turnout of volunteers benefitted from hands-on experience of some of the tools and technical search equipment the IRT uses, and some valuable classroom lectures.
Trainers including Dan, Garry, Mark, Guy, Rab, Chris, Pete, Nick, Tom and Jay, began familiarising the recruits with our equipment storage systems and basic camp craft.
The recruits were introduced to the operation of our water filtration system, which most recently proved its worth in the Caribbean after Hurricane Irma and which they would need to know how to use in any future deployment.
They were shown some of the generators, drills, saws and cutters they will learn more about in upcoming training sessions, and got to try out the base-camp cooker.
Our recruits were shown some of our technical search equipment, including the Vibraphone; given basic lessons on collapsed building approach and assessment; and later got the chance to try out both in some earthquake scenarios at our Chilmark training centre.
The IRT trainees were given useful lectures on the UN-adopted Incident Command System (ICS) and on health and security in deployment situations.
Catering for themselves in the field and working long hours in and out of the classroom, it was a fun taster of much tougher training weekends to come.
The USAR introduction was an early step on the long road to becoming fully qualified operational members of the IRT but aimed at getting them deployable in a support role as soon as possible.
The enthusiastic volunteers soaked up the information and left on Sunday afternoon looking forward to next month's training.