Lockerbrook 2018

The team’s annual training weekend took place from the 26th – 28th January 2018 at Lockerbrook Outdoor Activity Centre perched above Ladybower Reservoir in the Dark Peak. The weekend serves as a great opportunity to practise our key skills in a less familiar location whilst leaving just enough spare time for some well-earned team building.

Things kicked off on Friday evening with a back-to-basics night-orienteering exercise. Teams of two searched for ten-figure grid references armed only with map and compass (no GPS allowed!). With a selection of drinks and a hot supper waiting at the finish line, the teams made quick work of the course!

A hearty breakfast on Saturday morning helped rouse some bleary-eyed team members ahead of a full-day of varied exercises. This time the team was split into six groups, each of which tackled scenarios involving searches; steep terrain safety; triage; ropework and stretchers. These were all professionally delivered by senior team members, with help from supporters, some of whom had been especially creative in designing their exercises. Guiding a blindfolded team of stretcher carriers; searching for casualties of a hot air balloon crash and rigging zip lines across a ravine come to mind!


Saturday night’s team building activities started in sophisticated fashion with Paul Barlow’s annual quiz and a fascinating slideshow of Dai Sandbrook’s recent trip to the Himalayas, before Vicky Green stirred the inner-children in many team members with a selection of games. If you’ve never played Human Hungry Hungry Hippos before then frankly you have not lived!

The weekend was brought to a close with a whole-team incident exercise on Sunday. The situation the team was presented with was to respond to four lost geologists somewhere around a nearby crag. This exercise gave the team members chance to put their skills into practice. Due to the cleverness of the design of the scenario combined with some Oscar-worthy performances from the father and daughter partnership of Robin Knott and Sarah Garner, everyone commented on how real and intense the day had felt.

On a personal note, I joined the team as a trainee in September 2016 before becoming a full team member at the end of last year. From a newbie’s perspective it can be hard to get to know everyone in the team and vice versa, so it is rare chances to come together to train and socialise as a whole group that are invaluable. Lockerbrook is without a doubt the best experience I have had with the team so far. I am sure that the experiences shared over those three wet and windy days at the end of January are of benefit when it comes to working together in preparation for, and in response to callouts.

Since joining the team I have been astounded by the amount of time given up by all team members, let alone our deputy leaders, section leaders, drivers, officers and committee members (have I missed anyone?) . However special thanks must go to Paul Barlow for organising – when can I sign up for next year?

Article by Team Member: Sam Abbott

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  • A great summary of a fantastic weekend, nice one Sam. I echo your thanks to Paul for organising it all. Can’t wait for next year! (As long as there’s Hungry Hippos again!)

    Posted by Tim Spalding, 21/03/2018 8:56pm (9 months ago)

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