14 January 2011

Rescue or be rescued

"Go back up the road to the fire station. First team in wins!" I started running. My team mate wasn't amused.

It was a windy, rainy night in Buckfastleigh. We walked (not ran) straight out of the village. No fire station! So there you stand, in the pouring rain, at the edge of nowhere, with a radio in your hand that's useless as base does not respond. As you do in your leisure time! I thought I'd be practicing gas detection in Baker's pit that evening. But everything worked out differently from what I'd expected.

I had loaded all my caving kit onto my bicycle and ridden to Dave. When he saw me he said "I had forgotten all about you!" Well that's nice. I had especially brought pictures from the last three caving trips, that he had either not done or not photographed. I turned out to have a virus on my memory stick.

When we arrived in Buckfastleigh fire station, half an hour later, the first person I saw was Ferret. That meant either I wouldn't have had to ride to Plymstock, or Ferret wouldn't have had to bring his big van. We could have all gone in one car... ah well.

Roger, the training coordinator, said I wouldn't practice gas detection, but radio training. Fine! I decided to go with the other girl. We took a radio and went off in the direction the base sent us. The first thing she said: "I suffer from seizures". This was going to be an interesting night.

The bloke who was the base station had composed an elaborate route through rain-swept Buckfastleigh, with lots of information exchange. It's good practice to get that across accurately! One day lives may depend on that. And it was fun, though somewhat soggy fun. And well, dragging all your kit to Plymstock is good exercise.

After having wandered all over town we got the message we should return. Base had forgotten to inform us non-Buckfastleigh-dwellers of the left turn that required. And the rain got heavier. When base didn't answer our call we just asked the way from a somewhat baffled delivery man...

So instead of getting sweaty underground I got quite fresh downtown, stared at in confusion by the locals who had no idea why we were spelling the name of the local school's headmaster into a radio. If you would have asked me what I would have wanted to do that evening I don't think that would have been what I would have come up with. But not a bad deal, really!

No comments: