Report by Mike Salt
Cavers: Steve (Stik) Rider (EPC), Jase Rider (EPC), Steve Fallows, Sam Townsend (EPC-aspirant), Mike Salt (EPC), John Taylor (EPC), Nige Strong (EPC)
I’ll start this one with an apology, the newsletter was supposed to be out before this event took place - it wasn’t! However, I did phone every member of the Eldon prior to the workshop to give reasonable notice! Anyway, the pictures on the coversheet of the newsletter are of a day, which went something like this. We met in the Wardlow mires café at 10.00. The day was organised by the clubs’ training officer, Mick Star who had arranged for us to do some S.R.T. Rescue with Nigel Atkins, followed by some emergency first aid.
A full English was enjoyed by all before we went down to the Pindale Center for the first of the day’s exercises. Nigel kicked off with a thorough chat about our personal equipment and much fun was had when looking at examples of each other’s S.R.T. Rigs. Which were, in some cases, caked in shite and in need of a damn good clean! "Oh well" I thought, at least it shows that the Eldon are active cavers (or lazy People who can’t be bothered to clean their S.R.T Gear!). It was around this time when a pale looking Stik turned up looking a bit worse for ware having just cleared up after his house party which he held on the previous night.
What then followed was a good couple of hours going up and down ropes learning simple and efficient ways of getting casualties or lazy people off pitches. One particularly memorable moment occurred when I was on the rope and had to pretend to be knackered (this bit came natural to me and anyone would have thought that I’d practiced it a thousand times). John Taylor was the guy to be my savior as he heroically reverse prussiked "Rigged me up" and then started to assist me in getting up the rope. I can honestly say that Nigel had taught us well because as John assisted me, I found myself flying up the rope, to confront a big arsehole. A great amount was learnt and the general consensus was that we knew how to do the rescues, but Nigel’s influence showed us techniques that were easier and more practical. Three o’clock came and it was Mick’s turn - to the pub!
Sat in the Anchor, Mick went on to do a very thorough talk regarding casualties within caves. The following couple of hours covered a large range of scenarios where accidents could occur within caves these were tied in with real life incidents which bought a certain seriousness to the subject. The colour of Stik deteriorated gradually as the discussion became more detailed. The poor lad was a bit squeamish but stuck it out for fear having the piss taken out of him, but we wouldn’t do that would we? We all left that day being a lot more aware of the importance of the issues that were covered. I hope that none of us ever have to put into practice what we have learnt.
A very big thanks goes out to Mick and Nigel from the whole of the group. I look forward to the next training event. Anyone interested in taking part in the next workshop or even able to offer assistance, then please contact Mick.