NEWS

FEBRUARY 28TH 2017

Nottinghamshire reservists complete a leadership development weekend

Taking part in the high rope exercise

Reservists taking part in the high ropes challenge

30 Reservists from a local Army Reserve unit have completed specialist search and rescue training in Lincolnshire.

Representatives from 350 Field Squadron (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), Royal Engineers, made use of the Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Training Centre in Waddington, allowing them to practice their specialist skills in a purpose built training environment.

During the two-day event, the reservists, who work in a variety of professions in their civilian lives, carried out a variety of scenarios in overturned railway carriages and collapsed buildings, applicable to their search role.

Then later went on to complete a high ropes obstacle course in Mansfield, designed to build individuals’ confidence and teamwork.

Working in a confined space

Working in a confined space

One of the reservists taking part in the event was Corporal Lyndsey Dove, aged 34, from Mansfield, who on a day-to-day basis works as an Access Capital Repair Copper Planner for Openreach BT in Leicester. She said: “There are lots of opportunities to further your knowledge and improve your skills at 350 Field Squadron. Completing the training at the Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Training Centre was great, as it provided us with a new and varied landscape for us to hone our specialist search capabilities.

“I particularly enjoyed the command and control element of the various scenarios, which we were tasked to complete, as the facilities are realistic and challenging. I also thrived on the teamwork achieved which saw some members of the squadron conquer their fears during the high ropes obstacle course.”

Reservists taking part in the exercise

Reservists taking part in the exercise

Upon arriving at the Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Training Centre, the squadron was split into small sections, to complete a round robin of scenarios, with junior members given the opportunity to command.

Task one was to locate missing radio parts within a collapsed building.  With extremely narrow openings, and numerous obstacles to bypass, the phrase ‘how small is that space you want me to squeeze through’ was used by many.

Task two was to send individual members into a darkened derelict building to locate items and complete a simple rope task. The passage of information via the section was deemed vitally important in order to complete the whole task successfully.

Task three was to locate, treat and evacuate casualties from three overturned railway carriages which represented a train crash. Each evacuation became more difficult in turn due to the angles in which the carriages lay.

High ropes course

High ropes course

Commenting on this, Sapper Mathew Coombes said: “It’s surprising how vertigo can take an effect and trick the mind into thinking you are unstable.”

Task four was the most challenging and saw the reservists locate, treat and evacuate a casualty from a sewer system under a collapsed multi-storey car park.

The second element of the exercise was designed to challenge individuals to overcome their fear of heights by completing a high ropes obstacle course.

Working in teams to climb to the top of a ‘Jacobs Ladder’, with one member blindfolded, required a great deal of teamwork and trust in one another. Balancing four various sized individuals on top of a wobbly telegraph pole and leaning out to the point of no return was challenging for all involved.

Captain Zak Needham co-ordinated the weekend training. He said: “I can proudly say that all members who took part in the weekend thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the training. To be able to utilise both our military and search skills in these environments was an experience I won’t forget.”

Reservists taking part in the exercise

Reservists taking part in the exercise

350 Field Squadron is an Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Search unit that has reservists training in Chesterfield and Nottingham as paid volunteers.

If you are interested in making a difference in your spare time, you do not need any specialist skills to join the engineering based unit as full training will be provided. To find out more call 0115 9464909 (ext.5217) or email: 33ENGR-350-WO-RRMT@mod.uk

“I particularly enjoyed the command and control element of the various scenarios, which we were tasked to complete, as the facilities are realistic and challenging. I also thrived on the teamwork achieved which saw some members of the squadron conquer their fears during the high ropes obstacle course.”