Team member profiles

Members of the team are a friendly group of people from all walks of life, each with different skills and attributes. They share a love for the outdoors and may be hill-walkers, rock-climbers or skilled mountaineers. There are no supermen and everyone understands that the strength of the team lies in its capability to come together as a skilled and disciplined unit. If you are thinking of joining, we hope these profiles of people in the current team will encourage you to take the next step.

RogerRoger has been a member for over thirty years. His day job is a Safety Officer for BT; he tests telegraph poles for decay and damage.

Reason(s) for being in the team

It’s interesting and rewarding. You learn lots of new skills which are useful at home and work as well as for mountain rescue. You meet a lot of new people from all walks of life and learn to work as a team. I like to think I’m doing my bit for the community and those who need help in the hills. After all, it might be me that needs help someday and who would come if nobody joined rescue teams?

Specialist skill or role in the team

I don’t like to think that we have specialists. The strength of the team is in everyone working together, sharing their individual talents and helping those who need encouragement.

Worst and best aspects of being in the team

Worst – first aid exams. Best – first aid exams, they only happen every three years.

Favourite place to walk in the Peak District

Early morning up onto Kinder Scout via Crowden Brook.

Advice to potential recruits

It’s a major commitment. Think about how much time you have to give; its not just call-outs but training and fundraising. You need the support of your partner, employer and friends. After that, all you need is a sense of humour and dry socks.

KerryKerry has been a team member for over 2 years. Her day job is a Physiotherapist.

What got you into mountain rescue?

Always had an interest in that area and I suddenly found some spare time!

Reason for being in the team:

Meeting like minded people and doing something I thoroughly enjoy.

Specialist skills or role in team

First Aid Officer, so I guess first aid would be my skill (that and making sloe vodka).

Worst and best aspects of being in the team?

It can be very hard work and time intensive, but when everything goes well, it’s a great environment to be in with an interesting group of people.

Favourite place to walk in the Peak District?

Shutlinsloe or Axe Edge after a heavy snow fall at sun down……landing in Seaking helicopter on Kinder Downfall, with ice all around, on a callout wasn’t bad either!

One piece of advice to potential recruits?

Be ready to have to tin rattle but don’t keep putting off joining, you’ll always find something else to do but you’ll be missing out.

Joe

JoeJoe has been in the team for over 3 years. His day job is a landscape gardener.

What got you into mountain rescue?

Friends badgering me.

Reason(s) for being in the team:

Helping someone in trouble through no fault of their own.

Specialist skills or role in team

Team Logistics

Worst and best aspects of being in the team?

Best – putting something back for all the good years I have had from walking-climbing. Worst – missing a callout because I’m busy at work.

Favourite place to walk in the Peak District?

All of it.

One piece of advice to potential recruits?

Fundraising- your biggest commitment.

DaveDave has been in the team for 5 years. His day job is a Police Officer with Derbyshire Police.

Reason(s) for being in the team:

I’m an active rock climber, hill walker, winter mountaineer, mountain biker, indeed anything outdoorsy that doesn’t involve going down caves. I made my mind up to join a rescue team about 10 years before I actually made it into Buxton team. One of my friends was quite seriously injured in an avalanche in the Lake District and was rescued by one of the Lakeland teams. Undoubtedly they saved his life. I decided that rather than put a few pence in a collection box I could make more of a contribution by actually offering my own skills to a team. I finally got round to joining the team when I moved further into the Peak Park after a change of jobs. The team to me is more than a group of dedicated people who will turn out in all weathers and times to help all folk….. they are bunch of quite likeable social misfits who I feel I fit in with rather well. It’d be a very strange team indeed if we were all normal.

Specialist skills or role in team

I’m a search dog handler with the Search and Rescue Dog Association (England). My dog (Megan) has been operational since June 2007 after two years of intensive training. I perform the role of Vehicle Officer for the team which involves ensuring that the team vehicles are always roadworthy. I look at the specification of new vehicles and the modification of the existing vehicles. I’m also a member of the crag rescue team who develop and train the rope rescue techniques the team uses.

Worst and best aspects of being in the team?

Worst – You really can’t predict when a call out’s going to come and what you’re going to be going to. My wife has got used to the pager waking us in the middle of the night (I say us because Gemma will undoubtedly make me a flask and get Megan ready to go whilst I’m faffing around). She also doesn’t flinch when I’m off out on a Christmas day or New Year’s Eve job. Best – No matter what the situation, or who that casualty is, you can rely on every team member to pull their weight and put 150% into every call out we go to. The BMRT members will pull together and do there best in every situation………oh and the team membership isn’t too bad at drinking either.

Favourite place to walk in the Peak District?

I’ve no real favourite spots – just anywhere away from the crowds where I can walk my dogs and look over the beautiful Peak District countryside

One piece of advice to potential recruits?

Mountain rescue will affect your family life and you need to discuss the thought of joining a rescue team with your family before you even think of applying. You are not only committing to be available for call outs, you are also committing to training regularly in order to keep your skills up to date and you are further committing to assist with the fundraising efforts of the team. Joining any rescue team is a massive commitment…having said that it is also highly fulfilling. Make sure you’ve got a sense of humour too.

AndyAndy has been a member for 16 months. His day job is a chemist.

Reason for being in the team:

Needed to do something active having left TA, and have always appreciated MR being around ‘just in case’.

Any specialist skill or role in team?

Not yet

Worst and best aspects of being in the team:

Best – at present all of it. Worst – being too far away for some callouts.

Favourite place to walk in the Peak District:

Anywhere when I can get out, but quite like Kinder

One piece of advice to potential recruits?

Don’t be afraid to ask

EricEric joined the team in 1977. He worked for Hm Revenue & Customs and took early retirement in 2007.

What got you into mountain rescue?

My boss at the time was a member and we went out hill walking together. He asked me if I wanted to join and it sounded like a fun thing to do so I said ‘Yes’. I’ve been an active member ever since.

Reason for being in the team:

I thoroughly enjoy being a team member and I feel it is a very worthwhile thing to do. I’m proud to have helped the team grow from answering 4/5 calls a year from a dilapidated garage in 1977 to today’s highly skilled and well-equipped organisation that deals with over 70 incidents a year.

Any specialist skill or role in team:

I have been very involved in fundraising, everything from writing begging letters to rattling collecting tins. I am currently Acting Fundraising Coordinator. I am also Vice Chairman, which means I deal with a lot of administrative work such as helping to write our Training Handbook. I help out with our building maintenance too.

Worst and best aspects of being in the team:

Worst: Getting to a call-out only to find that it was only a quick job and is almost over. We all like to feel we have done our bit and to arrive ‘just in time to be too late’ is frustrating. Best: It’s hard to choose the best; I’d have to include making some good friends, being a part of such a great bunch of people and that good feeling you get from a worthwhile job done well.

Favourite place to walk in the Peak District:

I love Bleaklow and the moors around the Upper Derwent Valley. I’m lucky that I can go there in midweek when there is rarely anyone else there.

One piece of advice to potential recruits?

Jump in with both feet, not in a pushy way, but by doing your training thoroughly and helping in other areas such as fundraising or equipment checks as well. You will enjoy your membership all the more for it.

NeilNeil has been a member for twenty five years. His day job is a Curriculum Manager in a FE College.

What got you into mountain rescue?

I had been involved with St John Ambulance since 1977. My first involvement was providing casualties on exercises. What really sparked my interest was when I was the casualty in an exercise in Macclesfield Forest. I was the Ranger who had been “shot” by a poacher. Suitably made up with a chest wound, I dutifully lay right in the middle of the woods covered in an edible sticky blood made mainly of golden syrup. I still vividly remember the sensation when one of the team search dogs found me and proceeded to lick off most of the blood before returning to “dad” to tell him he had a find. The overwhelming sense of professionalism and team spirit from all the team stuck with me and a chance meeting later with a team member who used to teach me meant I was reeled in, hook line and sinker. I’ve been there ever since and can’t see a time when I won’t want to be involved. Be warned, it’s that addictive!

Reason(s) for being in the team

I was originally drawn in for my first aid skills, an aspect which I feel is still the most crucial part of being in the team. It’s no good being a red hot navigator or crag rat, if when you get there you can’t do the basics of casualty care. I also get a real sense of satisfaction from helping the people we rescue; you make a real difference to possibly their worst day in the hills. There is no other viable alternative to mountain rescue. We are the real 4th emergency service in the Peak.

Specialist skill or role in the team

I am the Team Leader, with 2 Deputies; we are in overall operational command of the team. It’s not a responsibility that any of the three of us take lightly; there are times when we ask others to put themselves in harm’s way. If it all hits the fan, then as the Team Leader I carry the can. However, in my totally biased opinion, there are many fine MR teams in the country, but none better than Buxton, so it’s not something that I have ever felt the need to dwell on. I am also one of 11 regional Incident Controllers. We have 2 functions: being the first point of contact for the police or other emergency services if they need the services of MR; acting as a search manager in larger, more protracted searches, where I can be responsible for tasking over 300 operational members.

Worst and best aspects of being in the team

For me, the worst has got to be the additional burden of the fund raising. We need ca. £30,000 every year. We get some very generous donations but the lion’s share is done by tin rattling. On a filthy wet day, stood on a street corner in Buxton, the only thing that keeps you there is the genuine appreciation of the public. The best, being a part of team that is totally committed to getting the casualty off the hill; guys or girls, it makes absolutely no difference, they all always give 150% and you know that whatever happens, they’ll get the job done. There is also an immense sense of camaraderie; the team are not only colleagues but also mates that you would trust with your life in a sticky situation.

Favourite place to walk in the Peak District

There are so many beautiful places, but if I had to pick one it would have to be Crowden Brook in winter.

Advice to potential recruits

Joining the team will change your life. You are signing up for a 24/7 emergency service, with the need to attend training, callouts, fundraising and other support activities. As you take on additional roles, as most people do, the level of commitment and time you spend also increases. You need the total support and understanding of your family and significant others. When the pager goes off just as you are about to go out on that special night out it is because somebody needs our help. I’ve missed weddings and Christmas lunch. We are asking as much from your family as you!

Jon

JonJon is a trainee who started in February 2008. His is an Education Welfare Officer for Cheshire County Council.

What got you into mountain rescue?

Being keen on hill walking I have wanted to join mountain rescue for many years. I kept putting it off because I thought you had to be a good climber, not be afraid of heights and know all about ropes; I am none of these things by any stretch of the imagination! I drove past the BMRT base one day and noticed a car parked outside, so I went inside. The first thing that struck me was how friendly everybody was. I filled in a form and I haven’t looked back since.

Reason(s) for being in the team

My love for the outdoors, enjoying helping people and learning new skills.

Specialist skill or role in the team

I am a member of the Logistics Team. We deal with everything which is equipment and vehicle based. We check the vehicles and equipment to make sure everything is safe, maintained and ready to be called out at a moment’s notice. I was amazed with the sheer amount of specialist kit there is, but you soon get the hang of it.

Worst and best aspects of being in the team

The best thing about being in the team is the social aspect. I’ve met so many good people, who are really welcoming and light-hearted. We meet once a week during training; it’s so good to see everybody and they all have a story to tell. We sometimes go on social activities like walking, climbing, camping, barbeques or just out for a pint. The other great thing about being in the team is that you get a real sense of belonging and a feeling that you are doing some good, whilst learning new skills. I just wish I joined 10 years ago! The only bad thing I suppose is the midges and sometimes being cold, wet and tired. This is a small price to pay though and you soon get used to it.

Favourite place to walk in the Peak District

Without a shadow of a doubt my favourite place for walking is Lathkill Dale. I grew up around there, so I might be a little biased, but the scenery is fantastic and there’s wildlife everywhere you look. It’s so nice to go there to unwind and forget about everything.

Advice to potential recruits

Never be afraid to ask if you are in any doubt. Everyone is always willing to help. I have learned so much from the other members of the team. My second bit of advice is for heaven’s sake join!! It’s the best move I ever made. I’m still one of the newest members, but I really feel like part of the team. I’m really looking forward to my future in BMRT.

MalcMalc has been a member since 1977 – a long time ago! His day job is a Learning Manager in a Post 16 College.

What got you into mountain rescue?

My brother Eric, who is Vice Chairman, was asked by his boss (an Edale team member at the time) if we wanted to act as casualities on an exercise. We said yes, and we’ve both been involved ever since.

Reason for being in the team:

It’s very rewarding when you are involved in a rescue and the casualty or his/her family are really appreciative of your efforts. You feel proud to do your best for the person, no matter what the outcome. Its good to know that the other services such as the East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) and the Police value our work and treat us just as another professional emergency service (despite us being a voluntary one). This is an indication of our high standards.

Any specialist skill or role in team?

Being Deputy Leader I am on a rota for calling out the team to incidents. I liaise with the Team Leader and other Deputy Leader to run the incident as required. Otherwise, I am just another ordinary team member and muck in with the rest of the crew.

Worst and best aspects of being in the team:

Worst: 2am Call Outs to go search in the pouring rain for a vunerable missing person. Best: A great bunch of people to work with, knowing that when we get a difficult rescue we can all work together and rely on each others skills to look after each other.

Favourite place to walk in the Peak District:

There are many lovely places, but the Derwent Valley takes some beating.

One piece of advice to potential recruits?

Don’t count up the financial cost of being involved in MR; the rewards make it worthwhile. Be assertive and ask questions.

We expect good all-rounders who are committed to continuous development. That said, there is scope to enhance your skills in specific areas such as: Logistics; First Aid and casualty care; Radio and communications; Incident control; Crag and rope work; Training search dogs; Fund-raising; Media and external liaison; Administration.

Why not act now? Here are some of the benefits of joining us.