In a normal year, members of Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team (CVSRT) gather on the last Tuesday in January to discuss business. On the agenda for this meeting is the formality of welcoming all of our successful probationary (probie) members to the team as fully fledged operational members.
However, for everyone throughout the Calder Valley and beyond, the past year has been anything but normal. For our newest team member Laura, our only 2020 new recruit, her journey into the team followed this pattern and was very different than expected.
Laura was already an active supporter of the team when she joined us as a probie member in January 2020 ready for the traditionally established process of undergoing a full 12 months of dedicated training. This training covers all the required basic core skills and culminates in a 14-hour scenario-based assessment before being welcomed as an operational member.
This all changed in March when, as a result of the national lockdown, all face-to-face training was stopped. Shortly after this in April, the team unanimously agreed that the best approach to continue Laura’s training was to ‘throw her in at the deep end’ and add her to the callout list to be deployed on operational callouts with full support and supervision of the team.
Laura took to this approach of live training brilliantly and, alongside all of the online training, fit into the team quickly. The decision to welcome Laura as a full operational team member was therefore an easy one to make.
Well done to Laura for her hard work and commitment and welcome to the team!