It was another smashing weekend for Serve On volunteers.
While International Response Team recruits practised their breaking and breaching skills and other rescue techniques, the Dog Team and Community Resilience Team volunteers were ‘smashing it’ at the Wessex Country Fair.
With just two months to go before their gruelling final assessment, IRT recruits were sharpening up their act at our Chilmark training base.
After a busy Friday night loading vehicles with their technical search equipment, their breaching and breaking tools and their tents, the recruits quickly-established a base of operation (BoO) at a designated ‘rescue’ site and finally finally got their heads down after midnight, only to be woken at 1.30am to search for and rescue a ‘missing person’.
They completed their task and got back into their sleeping bags after 4am but were up again at 7am for another busy day of training.
The recruits alternately went over the technical details of their equipment, practised listening for signs of ‘buried casualties’ with the vibraphone and got in some tool time smashing their way through concrete with the JCB hydraulic breaking tool and the disc-cutter.
There was time too for some joint USAR training with members of the K9 team who were going through their own drills with the dogs at the Chilmark site.
On Sunday, as the IRT training continued, the dog team were in action in the beautiful grounds of the Wilton House estate, giving displays of their skills at the Wessex Country Fair in aid of Salisbury Hospice.
Luka, Molly, Dexter and Poppy and their handlers all showed why they are such a wonderful asset to the search teams.
The good weather meant the fair was busy, so Serve On volunteers had a steady stream of interested visitors keen to hear about the charity work of the International Response Team, the Community Resilience Teams, the Dog Team and the Rescue Rookies.
As a result we look forward to welcoming some new recruits to the Serve On family very soon.
With thanks, as always, to trainers Tony, Garry, Dan, Rab, Andy, Tom and Pete.