T.V.L.B. Training and Drill Gallery

31st May 2009

Rope Rescue Exercise at Tynemouth Priory

As the Brigade continued its training with the new Rope Rescue Equipment, an all-day training sessions was held in late May 2009. On a glorious sunny day Brigade members spent 6 hours honing their skills and taking it in turns to become familiar with the various different roles that Rope Rescue includes.

These photos were taken by Rayburn Bainbridge, who has kindly given the Brigade permission to use them. However, they can not be re-used without his permission.

On a perfect day, the Tynemouth Priory Ruins stand proud.
Meanwhile, the Brigade Land Rover is parked up as the Brigade members start to set up their gear.
Anchor points, known as a Double-stake holdfast, are secured firmly in the ground.
And first over the Priory wall is Dan.
When descending a vertical cliff face, Brigade members will generally look like they are sitting down with their bottom at the same height as their feet which will be on the wall. One of the harder skills to perfect is climbing over a wall and onto the cliff face - here we see Dan just after he has climbed over.
With Peter watching on, we can see that Dan is starting to push himself off the wall and...
...is now ready to start descending down the cliff face.
And in no time at all Dan reaches the first out crop of grass 15 foot down the wall.
Wasting no time, Dan continues on his way downwards - he is descending down a gully - known as 'Whitley Tower' and roughly 30 foot from the top of the Priory Wall.
...not much further to go now.
Dan now waits patiently to be recovered up the cliff.
Recovering a man up a cliff is a team effort - thus the reason that Michael, Richard and Jonny are working together on Dan's mainline.
As with descending, care and attention is taken as Dan is brought back over the cliff wall.
All change as Jonny now takes on the role of Rope Rescue Technician ('the bloke that ga's doon the cliff like' - to the locals) - He is pictured here as he prepares to come back over the wall...
...and provides us with a perfect example of the issues faced when climbing over a wall.
As Richard, (Yellow Hat), prepares to go down the cliff face - the team discuss who is going to take on which role...
...but an urgent callout is received (number 51 of 2009) and the team quickly clear the Land Rover so that it can make its way to St. Mary's Island.
With the Land Rover needing to depart immediately, Jonny (who is on the roof and is about to drive Land Rover) looks for the quickest route down...
...a mid-air Jonny.
And seconds later the Land Rover heads off.
And so Gordon takes Richard's role as Rope Rescue Technician and prepares to descend.
Now with the Quad-Pod set up, Gordon prepares to descend.
He carefully moves to the edge of the wall.
Before gradually lowering himself down.
Chosing to kneel, he moves onto the cliff face.
He then lowers himself down a little further.
Before pushing his body away from the wall using his powerful legs.
Once in full-flow, he is down the wall in no time at all.
As Gordon continues, this shot shows the area the Brigade are exercising in.
Once reaching the bottom of the gully, Gordon is then recovered to the Cliff top by his fellow Brigade members.
Michael and Norman (far side) are operting a pully system known as a 'Z Drive' which provides a 2:1 pulling ratio and can be used for recovering one man up a cliff. When a Rope Rescue Technician and casualty are being recovered a pully system called a 'Tugga' is used which provides a 5:1 pulling ratio and allows more weight to be recovered by less hands.
Gordon evaluates whether a dive similar to Jonny's is required...
...but the Quad-Pod makes it a little easier to climb back over...
...and Gordon makes it back safely to the Cliff top before the team tidy the gear up and are then required on another callout - not only did they carry out a Rope Rescue Exercise on this afternoon but they also responded to four callouts!

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