04 August 2023

Controller meetings

In the olden days, cave rescue was quite straightforward; I would just rock up to the trainings, and then once a year to the AGM. But then things changed. Our secretary said she would step back, and she was the only woman in the committee. I figured the team really, really needs female representation in the organisation. So I volunteered! And what then happened was that we just split off the membership secretary post. That’s me now! And she still does the rest of the secretary work. So in addition to trainings and the AGM, I now attended committee meetings.

Then I was asked to consider becoming a controller. There is a lot more at stake when you are a controller! As the membership secretary you just have to do a bit of admin. But a controller, as the name already suggests, has to take control. It is the controllers the police phone when someone has contacted them to say there is someone injured in a mine. And then the controllers need to make the rescue happen. It is not only management of the team, but also of any other team or body involved. That might very well be the police, the fire brigade, and mountain rescue.

I am not a controller yet, but four of us are being trained up. And that means we are now attending the controller meetings. And we have already had a meeting or two with the aspiring controllers.

My first controller meeting was the debrief of the Dyserth dog rescue. I had a fair few things to say about that! And then recently we had the debrief of the other dog rescue. I hadn't been there, but it was very useful to listen to how it all had gone. There is a lot to take into consideration when you are a controller!

I suppose this is the new normal now. Regular meetings! But rather that than having to snap into action too often. As far as I am concerned, everyone can be either nice and healthy at the surface, or nice and healthy underground. Ideally, we would never be needed! But unfortunately, from time to time we are. And then someone needs to have made sure the team kept functioning between these rescues. And one of those is now me I suppose…

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