Trip to CRO base
Sunday, 5 November 2017

14 students stumbled out of Selside and into Clapham to meet Sean Whittle, CRO member and also the man who ran our very successful cavers’ first aid course last February. After a brew, we were shown around the HQ, introduced to the rescue vehicles and practised some hauling configurations on Ruth, the unfortunate dummy. The norm is a 3:1Z rig behind a 2:1 set up with the pulley on the casualty, with counterbalance systems used with discretion. We also used a temporary deviation above the pulley, to transition the straight haul to a tensioned tyraleon. The freshers started squirming with all the unhappy anadotes that the group shared.

There was a demonstration of the call out procedure from the comms room using SARCO, something I’d seen in South Wales, which was interesting. Beth was wrapped up in a steel ‘Neil Rob’ frame stretcher and Ruth was secured to the big plastic types,with back brace. I’d used this type in OFD 2 where the wider passage will allow it and you can do horizontal lift, but the small profile steel frame was more suited to the tight Swildons escape, particularly since you can pivot it on boulders.

Up from typically 3 or so a year, there’s been 9 cave rescues already this year, and perhaps 80 fell rescues. All in all, a very fun morning. Many thanks to Sean, Slug and the whole cave rescue team.