Selkirk at centre of rescue drama
A FULL-SCALE rescue mission was launched on Saturday around Selkirk.
But the joint operation between Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue Team (TVMRT) and an RAF Search and Rescue Helicopter was part of a training exercise.
The exercise began with an initial briefing of TVMRT Team Members at 10.30am in preparation of the arrival of the helicopter on the playing fields of Selkirk High School 45 minutes later.
Good weather brought out a large crowd to witness the operation - and a few youngsters were rewarded with a tour of the helicopter.
TVMRT members were briefed on the safety aspects of working with Search and Rescue aircraft ahead of the training exercise starting.
Steve Penny, TVMRT Team Leader, told the Border Telegraph: "All members of Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue Team are volunteers who train regularly in order to maintain the skills required to assist those missing or injured within the teams operational area.
"Search and Rescue helicopters are a valuable asset when available during an incident and it is important that all Team Members are able to work safely with them.
"I'd like to thank the aircrew for the time they spent with the local youngsters showing them around the aircraft - perhaps we may see some of them as future Search and Rescue pilots or TVMRT Team Members.
"Finally, I'd like to thank all the staff and crew of RAF Boulmer in Northumberland for taking the time to train with TVMRT."
The training scenario revolved around the search for a missing walker who had slipped and required medical treatment.
The location of the casualty was not fully known forcing TVMRT members to be divided into three groups and taken by helicopter to their search area. The groups were to be dropped at the Three Brethren, Peat Law and Foulshiels Hill - it was believed that the casualty was located near Long Philip Burn.
Rather than land at the drop off sites, team members were lowered by winch to the ground from the hovering helicopter.
The 'casualty' was quickly located and first aid administered; as the helicopter had been called away to a 'live' incident it was down to TVMRT to evacuate the casualty to the Teams Land Rover Ambulance.
Ray Smith, TVMRT Training Officer, added: "Although the team train every Wednesday evening and one weekend per quarter, the activity of the team is most visible when we are training or working with Search and Rescue aircraft.
"Our team use a variety of training scenarios to equip members with the skills required of a Mountain Rescue Team."
A total of 22 members of Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue took part in the drill.
This article appeared in Border Telegraph 27 Mar 12
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