By: Blonde One

Here’s the Blonde One story of Wednesday night’s antics!

My group of lovely youngsters found a big tree to give just a smidgen of shelter and prepared ourselves for the wait. We hunkered down as best we could and made sure that we knew what acting was required. This was the easiest job for me as I just had to play the role of DofE leader. I’ve been called a drama queen before but I’m not generally known for my Oscar winning performance skills! So to have no role to take was a relief. Not only was I not required to act but I wasn’t required to be ill or injured either. For those of you with good memories, last time the Two Blondes were rescued I had a broken ankle and required a stretcher ride. No such easy ride home this time!

Our minder, Andy, kept us occupied telling us about what would be happening at the control centre while they worked out their plan for our rescue. I’m not sure if the job of minder is a sought after one but Andy was excellent and looked after us brilliantly. All of the kids were interested in hearing about it all and at least one is planning to join the Rescue group in the future.

After a while we began to see torches from the distance. It was quite a sight seeing them come over the hill. I’m sure that in a real crisis that would be the best possible thing to see! We got ourselves prepared. The injured ankle, let’s call him Jack, got himself comfy on his roll mat leaning against the tree. Since he was not able to walk we assumed he would have a long wait sat in one place! We were right. Our hypothermic girl, Vicky, got into shivering mode and made sure that her blue and white make up hadn’t been washed away. She was supposed to have slipped on the stepping stones and fallen in the river. Finally our grumpy teenager got into role. Rob was named on the scenario sheet as LMF. To those of you, like me, who have no clue what that means: lacking moral fibre. In other words he was a typical grumpy teenager. The type of line that he needed to deliver was: “why do I have to be out with these losers?” Rob, ordinarily, is one of the kindest, most polite teenagers you could ever hope to meet. I was really interested to see how such an opposite kind of persona would be created!

To our relief Rescue arrived, in the shape of Simon. He was in charge of the situation and took instant control, giving instructions to his team, assessing the kids and asking me questions about what had happened. With his calming, authoritative tone he soon had all the team on the case sorting out the injuries that he correctly assessed. Had I been the real DofE manager in charge of this situation I would have been reassured. It is quite incredible really that in the dark he was able to sort all 4 of us out in such a short time.

Jack was put under a group shelter and looked after by a member of the Police force who were out training too. He reported back afterwards that he felt comfortable and secure the whole time. Vicky and Rob were also put under a group shelter and warmed up, cheered up and fed! Soon it was time for Vicky and Rob to be taken off to safety leaving me and Jack to wait for the stretcher. After a little bit of resistance from me and Rob (as instructed) they were walked off with what seemed like an army of red jacketed heroes. The stretcher soon arrived for Jack. He was very carefully transferred to it, wrapped up and strapped up. And so began what must have seemed like a very long journey back to the vehicles. To say that I was impressed with our kids would be an understatement. Despite the horrendous conditions they remained cheerful throughout (except when acting!) and all said that if we were lucky enough to be invited back, they would love to come.

On a personal note, I feel very privileged to be working with such amazing people. Blonde Two is obviously fantastic and has worked hard to make this happen, the rescuers never cease to amaze me with their dedication and commitment and the young people continually prove to me that ‘the youth of today’ are incredible and have an infectious enthusiasm for life!

Finally I would like to repeat Blonde Two’s statement!  …

The Dartmoor Rescuers are volunteers. Their work relies almost solely on public donation. We are all very lucky to be able to have them to call on in a crisis. It would be great if you could make a donation here –