By: Blonde Two

We Blondes don’t usually lose people. Well, we have a couple of times, but with a bit of detective work and some disjointed phone descriptions, we always find them again.

On Wednesday night, we lost George. This was a bit disconcerting; a) Because we were near a river, b) Because we don’t like losing people, and c) Because we had forgotten to bring him with us in the first place.

Luckily for us and our youngsters, George was in fact, ‘Virtual George’ and a fictional character in the casualty scenario that we were playing out with the Ashburton Dartmoor Search and Rescue team.

It was a complicated scenario that involved lost people in all sorts of odd situations. I had lost Blonde One who had also lost me, and was kept busy looking after Mr Virtual Broken Ankle and Mr Virtual Dislocated Shoulder. My party didn’t keep me too busy because Mr Virtual Hypothermia just had to shiver and Mr Virtual Even-Worse-Hypothermia was unconscious. We had both lost Virtual George who had gone for help.

On the opposite side of the river, we could see and hear Mr Trapped Ankle sitting in the water. He was kept busy shouting about his leg and worrying about the fact that he had lost Virtual Veronica downstream.

There was another casualty party upstream but I have to say that I was so busy being worried about whether or not I was lost (or even virtual) that I don’t remember what was wrong with them.

I have to take my hat off to the guys and girls from the Ashburton Dartmoor Search and Rescue team. To arrive on a scene to a flappy Blonde, a shouting river man, an unconscious casualty, five missing walkers and a missing paddler, must have been a bit of a shock.

As always, however, all was dealt with in a calm and proficient manner. Hypothermia lads were put into a shelter and a stretcher sent for for Mr Unconscious. A permanent torch was shone on Mr Trapped Ankle, who kept shouting but was soon rescued by a team on the other side of the river. A party was dispatched to find Blonde One and control were informed about the missing Virtuals – George and Veronica.B9n88ZSIEAA27aW

We all had a great time, and once again, learnt an awful lot from the boys and girls in red. I was really impressed by the organisation skills required. Thinking on your feet is a key Blonde skill but these guys take it to the extreme.

So, once again a massive thank you to everybody from Ashburton Dartmoor Search Team for giving us and our youngsters a unique and invaluable opportunity.

But an even bigger (massive in fact) thank you to them for turning out on training nights and on call-outs. They are often out for hours and hours at a time, in all kinds of weather and are all volunteers.

Major incident or minor accident, you never know when you might need some help. DSRTA don’t know either, but you can guarantee that they will be there if you need their help. So, next time you see a pot, put some money in it, and if you are planning to be out on Dartmoor or its surrounds at all over the next few months, you can, should, and hopefully will donate here