By: Blonde Two
Yesterday, the Two Blondes had an exciting appointment to keep. Were we going up on the moors? – no! Were we going out in the dark? – guess again! Were we visiting the Jelly Baby factory? – wrong! Yesterday the Two Blondes went to meet some of the fantastic guys at Ashburton Dartmoor Search and Rescue http://www.dsrtashburton.org.uk (Al and Simon pictured).
And what a welcome it was, there was coffee (two kinds) and cake and chatter and all kinds of interesting information. For example, did you know that:
1. There are four Dartmoor Rescue teams each covering a different section of Dartmoor and the surrounding areas. Plymouth, Tavistock, Okehampton and Ashburton. So far, our survey suggests that Ashburton have the best cake and coffee so if you are planning to get lost or have an accident, aim to do it around the East Dartmoor area, I am sure they will share.
2. The whole thing is voluntary – nobody gets paid! They turn out all night, in all weathers on any day just because they want to help out. On top of that, they train once a week throughout the year and get involved with their own fundraising. They also support various Dartmoor events like the Dartmoor Classic bike “cyclosportive” (that must be a made up word) and the Ten Tors Challenge (our favourite).
3. They have members from all walks of life – including, I am pleased to say, some female members. You know those films where the world is going to end and you have to select a set of people to be saved and carry humanity on? Well I reckon that if you just shoved the Dartmoor Rescue team into a bunker, humanity would have a pretty good chance. You would have doctors, teachers, computer boffs, builders and all sorts of other useful types – on top of that, they would be able to get themselves out of some pretty sticky situations.
4. Dartmoor Rescue or their affiliated groups can rescue you from just about anywhere (maybe not the moon because astronaut is not on the list above). If you are stuck in a cave, they work with Devon Cave Rescue. If you need a helicopter they work with the Devon Air Ambulance, RAF Chivenor or RNAS Culdrose. They have their own Swift Water Rescue teams if you fall into the Dart (I have done that, it is cold) and they can offer you medical care in the most remote parts of Dartmoor, in the worst of conditions (we have done that too, it is scary).
I will be telling you lots more about these fab people soon. But for now, remember this THEY ARE ALL VOLUNTEERS and next time you pass a box with their name (or the Mountain Rescue Team in your area) on – please put some money into it.