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The future of UK SAR, post SAR-H

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The future of UK SAR, post SAR-H

Old 6th Feb 2013, 12:52
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Jimf671
ITT Schedule 2.1 Specification, addresses Training for SAR organisations and
emergency services at 2.2.1 and for Aircrew at 2.2.2. Schedule 2.3 asks for different type of training for aircrew and mentions initial, on-job-training and continuation training, then synthetic and live training.

I suggest that aircrew training and SAR organisations and emergency services training have a big overlap. Although it does not explicitly state it in the ITT Schedules, initial and continuation training will be necessary for both.

So the 50 hours, is that Aircrew Continuation? And On-the-job? And this includes synthetic? Probably a yes. What about the rest?
You appear to have a copy of the ITT Jimf671 so I am surprised that you need to suggest anything as surely it is in the ITT in black and white? If it does not state that there is a big training overlap between aircrew training and ERT training then I would suggest there is not going to be one and furthermore, that there has been a reasoned decision that there does not need to be one. After all even the military only conduct familiarization training with RNLI, MRT etc approx once a year per unit.

Maybe you could provide us all with the details from the ITT on the 50 hours and clear up your own point, instead of making suggestions and trying to get a bite! Because if it says 50 hours aircrew flying SAR role training that each unit is required to complete, then it is NOT on the job and does not include synthetic nor does it include RNLI, MRT training. Simples ek

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Old 6th Feb 2013, 17:43
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Yes, I have the ITT zip file that is at the top of the DfT web page and it is the September one. There will have been a few changes in the final one but it has not been made public. I recommend a look at the DfT documents to anyone who has an interest in this. The Specification (previously Technical Requirement Matrix) has a respectable amount of detail. Even there, it is believed that there are other issues that have been thrashed out in the 'Boot Camp' but don't appear in that version of the customer's documents.

I expect the matter of continuation training for SAR partners to be addressed in the final arrangement. I expect there to be a number, though I am not completely certain, and I do not know what it is.

Where I think some difficulty lies is with initial type training. This is the matter of introducing the new service and its equipment, and doing initial pre-training to replace normal air transport passenger briefing, as mentioned in CAP 999. It applies to land and maritime alike and includes thousands of people.

Beyond the pre-training issue is its important effect on public relations, management and reputation. After the Guardian articles last week, thousands of broadsheet readers now think their 2bn to 3bn is going to be spent on rubbish. Proper open government and the DfT/MCA having the bidders and contractors on a longer leash would have meant that certain people would have had a better grasp of the facts and those article might have had a significantly different flavour.

Below that small tip there is a very large iceberg. If the DfT/MCA don't get a grip then, during the first five or so years after award, the management, at both the customer and the contractor, will be spending a ridiculous amount of time trying to sell the idea of the new service to the public and press. This will be time that would be much better spent on effective transition management and improving the service.

And I'm not trying to get a bite. There are a small number of issues that still need sorting. I and others will keep plugging away until the right answers are forthcoming.
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Old 6th Feb 2013, 18:56
  #1103 (permalink)  
 
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Jim

I think you've hit the nail on the head in your earlier posts: there are thousands of MRT members, some of which might occasionally see a SAR helicopter. There won't the will or the way to give them all comprehensive training on the new machines.

I'd suggest that the teams which currently work the most frequently with the helos will get some Stage 1 drills early on but the other teams will have to wait. Same goes with the RNLI / MCA / Cliff Rescue guys. I honestly don't think that this is a major issue; famil training will be a nicety not a necessity.

The S92 was introduced to Shannon in June last year and, like any asset, can be called to an incident anywhere in the country. I could be wrong, but I don't think they've managed to exercise with every MRT in their own patch let alone up in Donegal. Not a gold-plated Rolls Royce solution, but, guess what? It's working!

I also don't believe there is big overlap between aircrew training and SAR organisations / emergency services training. Compared with operating the machine, getting to and from the scene / hospital etc, the winching is a very small part of the job. Much the same for the MRT members I'd suggest. That's not to say that the exercises wouldn't be valuable; just not as critical as you seem to think.
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Old 6th Feb 2013, 20:33
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Jim, I am struggling to understand how there are "thousands" of MRT members. How many teams are there (non mil?).
P2probe is right, there is no guidance on extraneous ground troop training. The project is all about aerial support for national search and rescue missions. The air ambulance and police fraternity don't cross pol with ground troops, so why is SAR any different.
At the end of the day, aerial SAR and ground troops have the same aim but there isn't a correlation for training needs.
How often / what percentage of operational tasking requires trained MRT's to be in attendance? [Mountainous regions and long established Misper's is all I can think of].
Training thousands of 'supporters' is not a practical nor essential proposition.
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Old 6th Feb 2013, 21:01
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sciolist"... Noun, archaic. "a person who pretends to be knowledgeable and well informed".
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Old 6th Feb 2013, 22:58
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Devil

Oooh - touched a raw nerve did we.........

When and how often do the civvy SAR operators train with MRT's. They do but not often.
When are MRT's needed: Let's see:

Mountainous areas. Tick.
Misper's Rural areas: Tick.

How many jobs per annum are in the mountains/misper where MRT's are called upon? 10%, 20%.

How many SAR cabs cover "mountainous regions".
Remove military SAR who have a dedicated MRS empire and there's not much territory/need left is there?

[There will always be a place for volunteer MRT's. No-one is suggesting otherwise. But they are autonomous units who can function without helicopters. To cross pol with any available aerial units is a big "bonus" nothing more nothing less.
Why - therefore should/must the government accomodate their training needs under this particular contract???].

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Old 7th Feb 2013, 15:44
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TC, there are about two dozen civvy teams plus police and RAF with 1000 members in Scottish MR. Then there are the following.

Welsh MRT
NI MRT
English MR
ALSAR
Cave Rescue
Auxiliary Coastguard
RNLI
Independent lifeboats

The lifeboat crews generally do not require passenger pre-training in the way that MR and others do. Just because the Aux CG work for the MCA doesn't mean the MCA can remember who they are.

Last edited by jimf671; 7th Feb 2013 at 15:52. Reason: Spell.
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Old 7th Feb 2013, 17:41
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... I honestly don't think that this is a major issue; famil training will be a nicety not a necessity. ...
It might not be an issue from where you sit but from a 1960s design to a modern helicopter is a big step up in downwash. On a mountain ridge, heavy downwash can result in fatalities and has done recently in other territories. There have been lesser incidents in the UK. Downwash danger in MR is a current IKAR Air Commission issue.

Encouragiing all sides to think about procedures for downwash mitigation has been one of my themes for some time. I know that the Stornoway guys have been giving this stuff some thought and there are people in offices in Dyce who understand the issue.

Purely on the basis of downwash, I have heard people saying that the S-92 is completely unsuitable for mountain rescue. I am sure that there are people saying similar things about maritime rescue. People do not understand that they are safer in an S-92. You have to get out there and educate them before the press get to them or there'll be hell to pay which will make your boss and his boss very unhappy.

Then there is the 189 cabin height and double doors. WARNING WARNING! CULTURE SHOCK ALERT! Where's the mute alarm button? It's that page with Training Scedule on the top.

Last edited by jimf671; 7th Feb 2013 at 17:42. Reason: Spell.
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Old 7th Feb 2013, 17:48
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Sounds to me as though new helicopters might improve the gene pool
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Old 7th Feb 2013, 19:12
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Jimf

I'm sensing some empire building where none is required. Rotorwash is NOT a new issue and I think you will find that all parties are already aware of it, but thanks for the reminder!
Nothing you have suggested so far justifies your claim that there is a major shortfall in planned UK SAR training for those ERTs that might occasionally see a SAR helicopter never mind actually get to be a passenger in one. You seem fond of quoting CAP 999 SAR where you will find that a SAR passenger should be briefed on the following:

4 SAR Passengers
4.1 SAR passengers are to be briefed on the following, wherever possible and relevant:
a) familiarisation with the helicopter type(s) operated;
b) entry and exit under normal and emergency conditions;
c) use of the relevant on-board specialist medical equipment;
d) the need for the commander's approval prior to use of specialised equipment;
e) method of supervision of other medical staff;
f) the use of helicopter intercommunication systems;
g) location and use of on-board fire extinguishers; and
h) use of personal safety equipment.

Note the wherever possible!

Indeed Appendix 1 Exemptions from Regulations in regard to passengers states that:
The Commander may not be in a position to ensure that all
passengers are adequately briefed.

So in effect nothing has changed from the current procedures so can we please move on.

As to taking the public on and convincing them that the new service is good. It won't take 5 years, just the first few rescues should convince them that the cave rescue specialist might not be the best person to comment on aviation issues but when has the truth ever got in the way of a good newspaper story. As to the Guardian readers they will never be happy until the total current military and D of T budget is diverted to the NHS, DSS (whatever they are called now) and europe.

Cabin height, DONE!
Double doors, BONUS! Though I might get confused over which to open eek
Training schedule, there will be plenty for the aircrew and they in turn will pass on anything relavent as and when practical I am sure, but don't expect type rating courses for every MRT, RNLI, ambulance and police officer in the country.

Oh and one last thing.
The lifeboat crews generally do not require passenger pre-training in the way that MR and others do.
What makes RNLI any less deserving of a proper brief when there is the time to give one?!

Last edited by snakepit; 7th Feb 2013 at 19:14. Reason: beer
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Old 7th Feb 2013, 19:38
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... Rotorwash is NOT a new issue ...
Depends where you're standing/sitting. One old sweat involved in aeronautical rescue recently quiped during a discussion of downwash "if you stood under Whirlwind it wouldn't even part your hair". And that describes well the change that there has been across 50 years. For many of the SAR partners, this is a step change in technology, and especially power.


... As to taking the public on and convincing them that the new service is good. It won't take 5 years, just the first few rescues should convince them ... ...
No. Privatised helicopter SAR has been going on in the UK since Marston in 1971. The S-92 has been used in UK SAR since 2007 and done fine work. So when is this magical transformation of public and press opinion due to happen?


What makes RNLI any less deserving of a proper brief when there is the time to give one?!
When we work with them they always bring their own transport.
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Old 7th Feb 2013, 19:52
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Depends where you're standing/sitting. One old sweat involved in aeronautical rescue recently quiped during a discussion of downwash "if you stood under Whirlwind it wouldn't even part your hair". And that describes well the change that there has been across 50 years. For many of the SAR partners, this is a step change in technology, and especially power.
I can assure you I occasionally hang in the worst place possible and all that is required is a change in SOPs and expectations, its not rocket science. You cannot argue for better lift capacity and increased safety and still expect whirlwind rotorwash!

No. Privatised helicopter SAR has been going on in the UK since Marston in 1971. The S-92 has been used in UK SAR since 2007 and done fine work. So when is this magical transformation of public and press opinion due to happen?
Are you actually suggesting that the public and press don't appreciate and respect Lee, Portland, Stornaway and Sumburgh?

When we work with them they always bring their own transport.
I'd love to see the lifeboat in the mountains! When we work with them we do the same for them as we do for the MRT and if they become a passenger they deserve the same service as we give you! It was your comment.
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Old 7th Feb 2013, 20:11
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... I occasionally hang in the worst place possible ...
OK, OK, I see it now. "No stick no vote." Just different corners of the same page then.

Are you actually suggesting that the public and press don't appreciate and respect Lee, Portland, Stornaway and Sumburgh?
No, but 42 years on we still get stuff like the recent Grauniad articles. And if the articles weren't enough, some of the website comments were pretty awful.

... if they become a passenger ...
Please educate me if I am wrong but I estimate that this is considerably less likely than on MR jobs.
[And we have mountains right beside the sea in the NW Highlands.]

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Old 7th Feb 2013, 21:58
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Jim, you're hi-jacking the thread to some extent.
Ground based rescue teams do not need advance training with SAR ops. It is a luxury and doesn't /won't form part of the overall plan - neither financially nor operationally. If necessary - brief them at scene like we have done for decades.

There is nothing to learn?? Downwash? Whats there to brief? Go under the disc and its windy. The end. The only important thing to do is to ensure the crewman/woman on scene, grips the rescue team on scene early, and briefs them away from the chopper.
It might seem/sound simplistic...but guess what...it is! The problem is: several 'entities' have built empires around/on this subject. As I said before, they are a valuable contribution to some emergencies and the country is far better off because of your contributions. BUT there is too much 'noise' made about cross pol training between both parties. It is not essential; nice but not essential.

The other thing to remember is that if one lives and functions outside this Search and Rescue 'bubble'...ie: joe/joanne public...they DON'T CARE. For the same reason that they don't care that the AA is the 4th emergency service????? (Is it?).

To this day your neighbour and my neighbour STILL know nothing about SAR, absolutely nothing (unless someone they know has been rescued by them which is probably 0.001% of the population). They know some aeroplanes are yellow, some white and red, some grey and red. Do you think the public will flinch if there is no training for MRT's? Government reflects this therefore.

If there was a SAR tax/insurance...then matters would change significantly

Let's stick with the juicy operational bits about this contract, eh?
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Old 8th Feb 2013, 05:21
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Ground based rescue teams do not need advance training with SAR ops
If necessary - brief them at scene like we have done for decades
There is nothing to learn
Whats there to brief?
I rest my case.
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Old 8th Feb 2013, 08:02
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The future of UK SAR, post SAR-H

Vsf
In order to rest your case you have to actually make one! Not just cut and past quotes
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Old 8th Feb 2013, 09:29
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Downwash?

Jim,

Didn't a lot of civvy teams say the same thing about downwash when the RAF went from a SK/Wessex mix to a full SK fleet? I seem to remember a lot of gum bashing going on around Leuchars then! Hasn't seemed to be a problem as far as I can see?
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Old 8th Feb 2013, 10:42
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The future of UK SAR, post SAR-H

Meanwhile anyone seen the papers today?
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Old 8th Feb 2013, 11:08
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What, the story about the new Findus product - Champion Lasagna Sauce
(sung to the tune of Champion the Wonder Horse for those old enough to remember)?
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Old 8th Feb 2013, 13:14
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Groups vie for search and rescue contract - FT.com
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