Volunteers from Burnham-On-Sea’s BARB Search & Rescue were among dozens of crewmembers from across the region taking part in a joint exercise to test their readiness to deal with major flooding incidents.

The annual Surf Life Saving GB flood national exercise has been held this month at River Dart Country Park with rescue teams attending from Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Wessex and South Worcester.

The crews had a number of technical rescue tasks to achieve to test their expertise during the event on the River Dart.

“One session was to rescue a trapped person in the river, the second was to create a safe passage over the river to move kit across, and the third was to launch an inshore rescue boat using technical gear and then perform a paddle search,” explained a spokesman.

“All the teams had to perform and manage their own safety as well as find solutions to any problems encountered.”

“The teams then all moved on to a scenario-based exercise which included three missing persons, each with their own degree of complexity.”

“An operational command point was set up with team leaders managing their team as required. As the exercise took place in a valley the sunlight disappeared quickly in the afternoon which further tested the team’s skills when it came to locating the last person.”

“The scenario was created to test incident command systems, team leadership, along with the team members’ aquatic technical rescue skills and casualty care, in line with DEFRA level 3 for flood rescue technicians and SLSGB casualty care modules.”

“The day’s scenarios and exercises were enjoyed by all the team members who executed them professionally whilst demonstrating their skill and knowledge in an extremely testing environment.”


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