Despite being called to assist other teams in parts of the county experiencing extreme weather, Kendal Mountain Rescue were up bright and early on Sunday to take part in a joint water rescue exercise with Kendal Fire Brigade. Darren West and I joined them to see how the team operates and get to know some of the members.
Supporting Mountain Rescue
FMB are one of only three official sponsors of the umbrella organisation Mountain Rescue England and Wales, a major coup considering we are a small local firm. The initiative is in its infancy, but we hope to grow the niche business providing insurance to high risk individuals such as climbers and cavers, in competition with larger national outfits. This is a new area for FMB, our core business being financial planning. For every specialist policy we advise on 15% of our fee is donated to Mountain Rescue. You can find out more on our dedicated web pages.
The day began in control centre on Busher Walk Kendal with around 25 members ready for action. A very well organised and realistic scenario unfolded where a Kayak had been found without an occupant in the River Lune, near Killington Bridge.
Small groups were deployed with different tasks from a control centre in one of the vehicles stationed on the bridge. I was impressed with the procedures in place to make sure information was communicated effectively. Everyone had a part to play and members supported each other to make sure the task in hand was completed as quickly as possible.
Passion and Commitment
During the day, members of the team shared their experiences of life with Mountain Rescue. Everyone was passionate about it, which you would have to be given the amount of time and energy everyone gives and sometimes at the most unsociable of hours! We were made to feel very welcome, not at all in the way. In fact everyone was pleased to have some outsiders to share their passion with.
I am pleased to report that the “exercise casualty” was found alive but with an ankle injury and hypothermia on a steep bank. Ani, the rescue dog, alerted her handler and a team of members specially trained in water situations were deployed to stretcher to safety and a hot bath!
Business can learn from organisations like Mountain Rescue
After all the excitement, everyone decamped back to Busher Walk for lunch and a debrief. As a company director I thought the commitment to improve and the honesty to share what worked well and what could be better was outstanding. It is easy to forget these people are volunteers, they go about their business in such a professional way.
FMB is proud to offer support to Mountain Rescue England and Wales and in particular all our dedicated local teams in Cumbria.