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UK SAR 2013 privatisation: the new thread

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UK SAR 2013 privatisation: the new thread

Old 6th Aug 2015, 17:19
  #2161 (permalink)  
 
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jeepys - I can tell you that an RAF SAR flt is allowed up to 4 hrs per shift training - every single day and that is for, on average, 5 x 4-man crews.

More often than not, but not at this time of year, that will be used up in 2 sorties - one day and one night but that can be adjusted as required.

You will doubtless find those that thought we overtrained and in some areas they might have a point but the moaners were usually the ones who never used their imagination to make their training more interesting and were often not exactly stars on their cat checks or Opevals.

Don't have any idea what CHC do at Lee or Portland - that wasn't relevant to the last (original) SAR H contract.

Snaggletooth - day/night/VMC/IMC/land or water/ single or multiple beacons???Did you use 121.5 or just go to the 406 datum?
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Old 6th Aug 2015, 17:39
  #2162 (permalink)  
snaggletooth
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Day, IMC, overwater, single 121.5 beacon.

I've also done a few Radar-FLIR approaches in anger in proper punk weather and it works as advertised. Very impressive.

Last edited by snaggletooth; 6th Aug 2015 at 20:20.
 
Old 6th Aug 2015, 21:36
  #2163 (permalink)  
 
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Crab,

when you said that CHC had a realistic attitude to SAR training what was that opinion/fact based on? Hours?

4 hours per day is certainly generous and of course very costly and before you say SAR should not be based on cost saving unfortunately it is whether we like it or not. I am sure the ambulance service would argue the same point but the world (in general) is struggling at the moment.

Another question for the RAF folk. How many hours training does a fully qualified Typhoon or Tornado jockey get per month?
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Old 6th Aug 2015, 22:39
  #2164 (permalink)  
 
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Mil SAR flights always had a constant turnover, a significant portion of whom were SAR virgins. It has to be said though that some of those SAR virgins, front or rear, were highly experience airmen. On top of that, every pilot trained to captain. There are other differences in relation to CivSAR training objectives and career structure, and of course Fleet Air Arm and RAF had differences too.

Let's just be careful when comparing 1.6 apples with 4 oranges.
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Old 6th Aug 2015, 23:01
  #2165 (permalink)  
snaggletooth
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Jim, how have the MRT fraternity found the S-92 so far? Does it do what you need it to? Better/worse than the venerable old Sea King?
 
Old 6th Aug 2015, 23:07
  #2166 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by snaggletooth View Post
Jim, how have the MRT fraternity found the S-92 so far?
Very f***ing windy.
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Old 6th Aug 2015, 23:20
  #2167 (permalink)  
 
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Crab,

You are an UTTER bore. You're constant incitement to put BHL and its crews down, regardless of the good work they do, smacks of jealousy and bitterness.
Why can't a duty crew claim currency whilst doing a SAROP? Surely, to goodness, the mere fact that these Crews have gone out to safely and successfully achieve their mission is proof that the men and women doing the job are doing it well?
Have you substantive evidence to the contrary?
(Actually, that's a loaded question. I'm sure, given your track record of everything negative towards CIVSAR, you will be able to rattle off many things...)
Agreed, RAFSAR had a greater budget of training hours; but that was then. And this is now.
You know, in the old days Crab, you carried a lot of clout on this forum with some structured arguments and reasoned posts.
Now, in my opinion, all you do is belittle everything and everyone that successfully transitioned, or currently works in, UKSAR.
Ray
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Old 6th Aug 2015, 23:39
  #2168 (permalink)  
 
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Ray - I know the majority of the crews in the new SAR service are well trained, well motivated and extremely professional - many of them I have worked with in the past.
However, there are a number who don't have the level of expertise (front or rear crew) who are going to struggle because the training hours to bring them up to the level of the good guys (and girls) are just not there.

What are you going to do about them? Assume that if they(and presumably the casualty) survive the rescue that it was performed to a high standard and the best possible outcome was achieved???

Or are you going to test them on training, check rides and opevals to make sure that what they are delivering isn't the bottom end requirement to meet the government targets but the best that can be achieved in UKSAR?

Frankly I don't give a shi* what you think of my contributions - the fact is that I was privileged to be, for 14 excellent years, part of the finest SAR force and, during that time, many people considered my contribution to the training of that force extremely valuable.
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Old 7th Aug 2015, 00:42
  #2169 (permalink)  
 
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Crab - why is it, then, that we have to get into a slagging match, with you at the helm, steering every negative attitude towards CIVSAR!?

Are they doing everything wrong? It appears from every post you make they are??!!!!

If you didn't give a Shi*about your posts, why post them?!


Ray
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Old 7th Aug 2015, 07:37
  #2170 (permalink)  
 
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Burgers is free

Unfortunately you will never get an answer to how much things like training cost from folks that have worked most of their lives in a burgers is free fiscal environment
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Old 7th Aug 2015, 09:34
  #2171 (permalink)  
 
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If you didn't give a Shi*about your posts, why post them?!
I guess you just don't read very well - that is clearly not what I wrote - perhaps that is why slanging matches occur, because people revert to Daily Mail mode of shock and outrage rather than reading what is actually written.

My criticisms of CIVSAR are because it was the wrong move for the wrong reasons to privatise it. Now that it is a done deal - I expect, as a taxpayer, for the service to be as good as possible and at the moment it is not. I am sure it will improve - based on the quality of many of the people involved - but limiting training isn't the way to do it.

BB - so I can't have an opinion on training because I was in the military and didn't pay the bills??? Well constructed argument, well done

Snaggletooth - I should hope it does work as advertised but how many times are you required to practice these disciplines on a monthly or quarterly basis?
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Old 7th Aug 2015, 10:21
  #2172 (permalink)  
 
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Crab,

Tell you what - here's a challenge for you; do you reckon you could post something positive about CIVSAR?
Why not see whether you can swallow that pride and self righteous attitude and post something constructive, positive and supportive towards the boys and girls that are digging out blind to make this project work!!
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Old 7th Aug 2015, 10:29
  #2173 (permalink)  
snaggletooth
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I could answer that sensibly Crab, but that would involve effort on my part. I prefer the old adage, "Fly what you want, claim what you need!". Served us well on the SAR Farce for many years, n'ect ce que pas?
 
Old 7th Aug 2015, 10:57
  #2174 (permalink)  
 
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With regards to talk on this forum around Ambulance Paramedic to Winchman, I just thought I would add my two pennies worth....


I am a Paramedic, employed with a UK ambulance service. I volunteer with my local MRT and I have a small amount of SAR shadowing experience with the old RN flights and new Bristow / HMCG flights. And dare I say it, yes, I intend to pursue a career in UK SAR.


I appreciate some of the comments on this forum around the flying hours required and lack of experience (compared to WSOp crewman) for ab inito reacrew. I would however just like to remind people that not all ambulance paramedics are lazy, overweight and unintelligent. I work in a very rural location, routinely treat multiple patients (critical care) in mentally and physically demanding scenarios.


The world of an ambulance paramedic is not simply turning up in an oversized ice-cream 'van', applying a bandage and taking the person to hospital. Many paramedics (including myself) now have masters level education. Whilst I appreciate the ability to Harvard reference does not make a person suitable for UK SAR I would like to dispel any myth of a lack of intelligence.


Are there ambulance paramedics who would not be suitable for ab inito SAR crewman training? - Absolutely yes - the majority I would argue.


Are there ambulance paramedics who would be suitable for ab inito SAR crewman training? - Absolutely yes. Bristow in the near future will look to address this with the depletion of qualified SAR reacrew. A system like the OASC will be developed I would assume to test for aptitude. I am aware of a number of ab inito crewman have done well without the military background.


In know way am I dismissing the experience or capability of the outgoing military flights - I just wanted to point out that civilians without the military background have gone on to become very capable reacrew.


From my point of view (and from a selfish one ) I am guessing ambulance paramedics will have to be the next resource pool with proper, extensive training systems put in place to ensure the correct 'end product'.


With regards to the pay side of things, I have read all the comments of 'trolley dolly' wages. From what I can gather the pay on offer for reacrew is less than the RAF/RN. Not sure about this but to suggest an ambulance paramedic will be willing to work for £25k a year is completely wrong. Many paramedics are employed on band 6/7 with unsocial hours many clear £50k+.


Another point to consider - from 2016/2017 the HCPC who regulate Paramedics have now insisted on a full BSc degree to register. If Bristow intend to put ex- WSOp crewman (who aren't registered as a Paramedic) through a SAR course they may have some time to wait (3 years..)




Steve
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Old 7th Aug 2015, 11:49
  #2175 (permalink)  
 
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Crab,

Shouldn't you be on this thread in the Military section? Don't tell me that you're not qualified .

http://www.pprune.org/military-aviat...ble-drone.html
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Old 7th Aug 2015, 14:14
  #2176 (permalink)  
 
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Xenolith - Ray wonders why slanging matches occur on this thread.....perhaps it is because people either don't have the intelligence or the knowledge to counter any of my arguments in a structured way - they prefer to just try to insult me.

Sticks and stones etc........yawn....


RAY - something positive.......well the RCS now highlights that some of the civSAR flights do have a paramedic on board and an NVG capability....some of the time - so that is positive progress isn't it??

Shame the poor NVG instructors (of which I gather there aren't actually enough) are firefighting round the country trying to get the training in!

Genius organisation to wait until summertime to do your NVG training!!! That couldn't possibly have been forseen could it?

I do want them to succeed because it is a service the UK needs but they are very good at making it hard for themselves.

Perhaps if they had bothered to talk to people with a track record of SAR training delivery it might not be so haphazard now.
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Old 7th Aug 2015, 14:28
  #2177 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by snaggletooth View Post
Jim, how have the MRT fraternity found the S-92 so far? Does it do what you need it to? Better/worse than the venerable old Sea King?
Originally Posted by satsuma View Post
Very f***ing windy.
Yes, satsuma, that sums it up for many people who have never worked with S-92 before. Since, like a couple of hundred MR folks across the NW Highlands, I have worked with S-92 since 2007, a lot of this is not new to me.

Staying with the windy theme for a moment, at Kintail, I introduced the 'train hard, fight easy' approach to the downwash issue and have since recommended it to others across the UK. You secure your gear, get your helmet, gloves and goggles on. The aircraft hovers over a bowl and then work through all your winching and highline combinations in a downwash that is constantly blowing you over and you may be crawling along grabbing the heather to stay half upright. Once you have done that until everyone is weary then everyone is getting the idea and there will not be problem during operations. The same sort of approach was used when we did Stage Ones at Inverness a few weeks back. The aircraft was hovering at 20 feet over the pan and the hurricane was blowing! I also encourage briefing of casualties about noise and downwash when a helicopter is expected (regardless of level of consciousness).

There has never been any doubt in my mind that though increased downwash could be troublesome, or even dangerous, we just had get used to it and get on with it. That is how modern aircraft are and that is how we are safer in the air. A few years ago, Tom Taylor, ARCC/MCC, ex-Kinloss MRT, summed it up. "They complained about downwash when the Sea King replaced the Wessex and when the Wessex replaced the Whirlwind. If you stood under a Westland Whirlwind, it wouldn't even part your hair." Spare a thought for the Norwegian alpine rescue teams when 330 skvn get Merlins!

The Bristow S-92A has the long range tank and so, like the Stornoway aircraft in the past, may arrive fuel-heavy. Restrictions on human payload may result but, compared to Sea Kings that can often only take three upon arrival when we have a massive search to organise, the S-92 lives up to the name Helibus.

Across the UK, Bristow's S-92A has been pretty well received. Double winch, decent seating and a good heater are welcome. Personally, I miss the water boiler and at least one pilot is wondering where he is going to warm his helmet in the winter. In Scotland, we have had S-92 since 2007 in the NW Highlands and articles about CivSAR have been appearing in the movement's magazine Casbag for many years, including early 2015. However, SMR could have more effectively harvested the CivSAR experience of the NW teams during their preparatory discussions with Bristow. John Hulse of Ogwen Valley MRT and a team of regional co-ordinators have done a great job of managing the MR side of the changeover in England and Wales. Different MRT in different areas with different workloads have different opinions in detail. Most of us were ready for change though sceptics were never hard to find.

One major problem for the sceptics is that the Sea King was pretty rubbish. Decades of just getting away with it. Three things have conspired to make the Sea King a viable aircraft for SAR in British mountains.
- It is windy, and helicopters love a wee bit of wind. It provides translational lift.
- It is cold, and helicopters love a wee bit of cold. It provides dense air to push against.
- The floppy, carbon-based, ape-descended life-forms in the green onesies.

Problems at Inverness have prevented the Scottish situation being the success it should have been. The first instalment of a pattern we will see repeated saw Inverness start without the correct aircraft. Last minute regulatory changes were already threatening timescales. To that combination add the roof blowing off the new building and now important parts of the work-up programme are dead in the water. The nights are getting brighter and shorter by the week and aircrew NVG training is suffering. Into that mix comes triggered lightning that cancels training with busy influential MRT and then it's a PR nightmare. Meanwhile, at Humberside, several of those problems do not occur so the Lego blocks all hang together and everybody is happy. Again at Caernarfon, everything falls into place and the new provider is well-received.

In spite of all that has been stacked against them, Inverness did a large number of jobs during 2015 Q2 that compares very favourably with the average numbers for Lossie. That sort of workload appears to be continuing. Out there doing: not a failing system.

There is much concern about the NVG capability and the result that Gannet looks like night nurse to both Inverness and Stornoway. Certainly, it would be better if all Inverness crews had been NVG current at the commencement of service. Bristow have stated that no other base will start up without this capability (could be the issue at Lydd but I don't know). Since it is barely dark at all here in the summer this is not yet a major issue and a S-92 with all the new toys is only slightly less use in the dark than a Navy SK with NVG anyway. A fix is just weeks away and I am also pleased that Bristow have expressed their intention to introduce NVG at Stornoway and Sumburgh before the contract change in 2017 (though it will not surprise me if the magnitude of the AW189 workload later derails that intention).

In the past there have been comments in some quarters about CivSAR flying standards not being the same as the military providers. I have witnessed a wide range of circumstances in the mountain environment across 27 years, as well as having paid close attention to the contractual situation. I believe that the following may be relevant.
  • No two pilots are the same. No pilot finds the same flying conditions on the same mountain twice. There are no old bold pilots? There are no old bold thick lazy SAR pilots!
  • The principal organisational influence is that until April, no CivSAR contractor operated under a contract and regulatory regime that fully reflected the needs of UK maritime and land SAR flying.
  • Military restrictions in training had become ingrained in MRT culture across decades and were no longer noticed, whereas CivSAR restrictions in training were newer and unjustifiably somehow became a stick to beat them with.
  • Recent influences of the MAA upon military SAR flying and administration appeared slowly and almost unnoticed.
  • Although MoD-DASA/DefEcon stats and the RAF and RN media effort can give the impression of openness, lots of mistakes and short-comings remained under wraps during the reign of MilSAR and they have never been exposed to the scrutiny currently experienced by Bristow.
  • S-92A is big. "If the S-92 is ‘Helibus’ then the AW189 is expected to be heli-sports-estate: fast and manoeuvrable, with plenty of room in the back for hill stuff."
  • Sea King SAR knowledge base: 37+ years. S-92 SAR knowledge base: 8 years. AW189 SAR knowledge base: New. Every day is a school day. The work-up period never ends.
  • Bealach na Sgairne is a long way from Gatwick.

I believe that the AW189 situation drives a lot of the current problems. The blame rests chiefly with AW and the Government. Although there may be aspects that Bristow could have handled better, we should be careful not to blame the contractor for things that are beyond their control.


La oss gå flyr.


Team Area : Kintail Mountain Rescue Team in Wester Ross, Scotland
Scottish Mountain Rescue, Volunteering to save lives
ICAR - International Commission for Alpine Rescue
Police Scotland
Scot Gov: Public Safety and Emergencies

Last edited by jimf671; 7th Aug 2015 at 14:41.
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Old 7th Aug 2015, 14:36
  #2178 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
... ...
Shame the poor NVG instructors (of which I gather there aren't actually enough) are firefighting round the country trying to get the training in!
Maybe somebody with a good knowledge of how the regulatory framework has developed can help Crab out with this one?


Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Genius organisation to wait until summertime to do your NVG training!!! That couldn't possibly have been forseen could it?
Well, clearly that was not the plan.


Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
I do want them to succeed ...
Obviously.
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Old 7th Aug 2015, 15:00
  #2179 (permalink)  
 
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I’ve just been reading of the organ grinders of years gone by. They moved from place to place to avoid being chased by persons who would not appreciate hearing their single tune over and over again. The poor devils dragged their instruments around from ten in the morning till eight or nine at night and the public only tolerated them grudgingly.

The unwelcome droning on of the organ grinder’s single tune has similarities to one contributor’s ‘half empty glass’ negative contributions to this thread. Wait for the riposte about the organ grinder's monkey........
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Old 7th Aug 2015, 16:45
  #2180 (permalink)  
 
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Organ grinder? Hmmmm better than being the monkey I suppose


I could be a hopelessly optimistic 'glass half full' type who doesn't understand that a contract to provide a service means exactly that - not struggling to produce and then blaming everyone else for their woes.... Oh it was the nasty weather,,, oh it was the nasty CAA,,,,, oh it was the nasty aircraft manufacturer...... and especially oh it's all nasty crab's fault - if he had just been more positive in his ppruning everything would have worked out all right.

If you bid for the work and take the money, you are expected to produce the right goods on time - or is it just different this time because many people here have vested interests???
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