Advanced training – introduction

More advanced training and development which is not mandatory but for which team members are encouraged to attend.  This training covers, at a high level: driving, casualty care, water rescue, ropes and climbing, incident management (including Party leader, search management, Incident controller, Tactical adviser), helicopter operations. A number of these advanced modules have a finite duration before reassessment others are a one off qualification with a simple need to demonstrate Continual Professional Development (CPD).

The team also routinely conduct out of area training weekends twice a year with one of these being winter skills training in a suitable environment.

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The team operate two modified Land Rover 110 Defender ambulances and a Mercedes Sprinter van converted into a control unit/ambulance.  We also have the capability to deploy with a range of trailers.  In order to maintain our insurance requirement drivers need to over a specific age, hold a current licence which qualifies them to drive the vehicle (and any trailer), either hold a clean licence have no more than a specified number of points it.

Team vehicle driver

A module to ensure that people understand the checks needed on the team vehicle (both pre deployment and on return to base), the controls, performance and limitations of the specific vehicles such that the vehicles can be deployed in a safe manner and maintained to a high standard of readiness.

Callout driver

After a period as a team vehicle driver individuals are assessed for their suitability to drive a team vehicle to or from a live incident (but not under blue lights or sirens).

Response driver

At the trustees discretion individuals can attend an external course and assessment to qualify them as a team response driver.   It should be noted that this qualification allows them to use blue lights and sirens on team vehicles to ‘make progress’ on the public highway,  it does not allow them to contravene any regulation in  the Highway Code.

Off road driver

A mix of in house and external training to allow team members to understand the capability and limitations of the two 4 x 4 vehicles in the team and to provide practical experience of those capabilities.

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Casualty care

Casualty care

Medical training is designed to give team members the ability and confidence to manage all the medical issues at a casualty site. The training is aligned to the North East Search and Rescue Association (NESRA) syllabus and includes a specialised training course culminating in a theoretical and practical examination.

The training allows qualified team members to undertake procedures that are not normally covered in basic first aid courses, administering medical gases, drugs and moving casualties with spinal injuries for example. The training aims to highlight the dilemmas that occur between “textbook” casualty care and practical mountain rescue.

The qualification has to be renewed every three years.

Advanced casualty care

For those with the aptitude and desire to progress further in the casualty area arena the team provide support and sponsorship for a small number of team members to take their Casualty Care Award to the next level which involves additional specialised training course culminating in a theoretical and practical examination towards the award of the NESRA advanced casualty care certificate.

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Ropes and climbing

Advanced Ropes

Training and development to prepare and assess individuals as being suitable to lead rope rescue to include rope rescue of ‘rescue load’ on multipitch vertical cliffs.

Climbing supervisor

An optional training module aimed at all full and trainee team members wishing to supervise team sponsored climbing events. Single Pitch Award is the nationally recognised qualification.


Water rescue

Water first responder (DEFRA module 2)

training to allow individuals to identify their limitations and safely and effectively use water rescue equipment, whilst operating near, on, or in moving water appropriate to the limits of wading. Sometimes referred to as Bank team trained.

Water rescue technician (DEFRA module 3)

To enable individuals to safely use water rescue equipment, whilst operating near, on, or in inland water and to be able to carry-out water and flood rescues safely, providing the underpinning skills and knowledge to undertake an effective dynamic risk assessment. Sometimes referred to as Swift water and flood rescue technician.

Water incident manager (DEFRA module 5)

Training to allow existing managers to have a technical understanding of Water and Flood Incident management


Incident management

Party Leader

Training and development to qualify a team member to lead a hill party in a search or rescue incident and subsequently  act as the find site manager if first on scene at a find site.  Much of the training resolves around dynamic risk assessment, triage, and safe methods of working.  We run both internal courses and subscribe to national training.

Search Manager

Skills necessary to allow managers to understand missing person behavior and the various search techniques we can deploy.  A prerequisite for attendance on an incident controllers course.  We run both internal courses and subscribe to national training.

Incident controller

This learning development qualifies individuals to be able to manage and lead a search or rescue operation from within the team.  It relies heavily on the party leader and search management training and the ability to work in close collaboration with other teams and the statutory emergency services.  This is current an in-house course.

Tactical adviser

Training conducted with the police to prepare incident controllers to deploy to an operational or tactical command post during a major incident.  The role of the TA is to brief the commanders on the role and capability of Mountain Rescue and to ensure the administrative needs of the deployed teams are managed.

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Helicopter operations

In addition to the mandatory safety awareness training team members are encouraged to spend time with the Search and Rescue Helicopter to practice operations in and around the helicopter, landing site marshaling skills,  winching and the use of high lines.

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Out of area training

The team generally subsidise two out of area training sessions each year.  One is normally a session with another rescue team to allow us to practice with peers on terrain we are not familiar with.  The second is a winter skills course which over recent years has been held on the Cairngorm region of Scotland.   Additionally the team frequently exercise with neighboring teams,  other emergency services and the local RAF mountain rescue team.

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