Remote Area Training with the John Muir Trust

RIchard PrideauxWork and IndustryLeave a Comment

Back in October 2018 we headed north to Pitlochry to deliver a L1 Remote Area and Lone Working course for the John Muir Trust, an organisation and charity that works to protect and enhance the wild places of the U.K.

The delegates on this course were three rangers, each working in a remote and mountainous environment in either Scotland or the Lake District. Their jobs often involve lone-working in places far from emergency services, and in places where even calling for help isn’t always possible.

This is exactly who this course is aimed at – organisations and individuals who are performing tasks in a potentially hazardous environment, but where the environment itself is part of the reason they have to be there.

They need to be able to concentrate on their jobs without having to continually think about their safety, but also to work within a structure where an adequate and appropriate assessment of the environmental risks has taken place. Mitigation of those risks is quite possible and can be accomplished with some careful planning – this is where we come in.

As always, this course begins with classroom sessions – covering subjects such as navigation, hypothermia, priorities of survival and NOPs/EAPs.

Casualty assessment and extraction exercise underway

We then moved outdoors to put this into practice, and to run through some likely scenarios – ‘injured persons in the party’, ‘loss of critical safety equipment’ and so on.

Heading back towards civilisation

For this course the clients had chosen to undertake a second day of training and exercises, so we drove out to the southern slopes of Schiehallion where we could explore some genuinely wild and remote terrain.

We ran through various navigation exercises and explored the valley above Allt Mor towards the old shielings that are scattered along this glen. It was a realistic venue for this type of course; we were 7km from the nearest point of road access at our furthest point. Extraction of a casualty from there would require several hours and a sizeable team of stretcher-carrying rescuers – or a ride in an S-92.

End of the day, with 2km of tough ground still to cover

We finished as the sun set behind us, swapping stories of exploring the remote corners of the UK and how to put the newly-developed skills into practice. There was even a river crossing to tackle on the route to take us back to our vehicles.

If you are interested in learning more about this course and the relevant training stream of the EST Framework then please get in touch.

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