I recently received an invitation to join the real-life rescue rangers on a muddy play date just outside Northamptonshire.
The purpose of the day was a team-building exercise for some awesome people who work in and around Northamptonshire, keeping us all safe.
In attendance were the Rural Crime Team, Lowland Search and Rescue Northamptonshire, Northants Serious Collision Investigation Unit, the Safer Roads Team of Traffic Cops and even the new Chief Constable for Northamptonshire Police.
The venue was Avalanche Adventure, a 400-acre site just outside Market Harborough in Leicestershire that does a bit of everything: buggy racing, quad bikes, clay shooting, and 4×4. My invitation was a bit last-minute and honestly, I didn’t know what to expect and wasn’t really prepared for the deep mud that greeted me. I was accompanied by no2 daughter (9yo) who was on camera duty.
It was an awesome day watching the guys and girls from the various teams enjoy some downtime, getting well and truly stuck in.
They had brought an eclectic array of toys to play with. The Rural Crime team brought their Ford Ranger Raptor. This thing has serious presence and is a very capable tool. The Safer Roads Team brought a Ford Kuga which I expected to be seriously outclassed in the boggy, muddy conditions. However, it proved to be superb, at one point out 4x4-ing one of the Crouch recovery Landrover Defenders. Lowland Search and Rescue Northamptonshire brought a defender and a Hi Lux to play with and there were a couple of other toys dotted around.
Everyone seemed to have a great time playing in the mud, and it proved an excellent opportunity to network. I met some great people and got a much better understanding of what these men and women do on a daily basis to keep us safe and protect us. Unfortunately these days, there are a minority of people who look at our emergency services and continually criticise.
This was a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the challenges this lot face and the good work they do. From budget cuts to ever-changing government targets, dwindling numbers, and resources, yet higher expectations, criticism from media, the public and politicians yet despite this they still get up day after day and do their job to keep us safe, often putting themselves in harm’s way.
It was an absolute pleasure to spend time in their company and a big thank you goes to all involved.
Who are they and what do they do?
Lowland Search and Rescue Northamptonshire: Northamptonshire Search and Rescue (NSAR) are a group of trained volunteers who are on call 24hrs a day, 365 days a year. The team today is extremely well trained and equipped. We regularly assist Northamptonshire Police and other statutory emergency services.
Rural Crime Team: Rural crime tends to fall into one of four categories: agricultural, equine, wildlife, heritage. It can also fall under environmental crime, which covers illegal waste dumping, fly-tipping, polluting watercourses and land.
Safer Roads Team: The Northamptonshire Safer RoadsTeam are aA team of Specials and Police Constables making Northamptonshire's Roads Safer by denying illegal drivers the use of them..
Northants Serious Collision Investigation Unit: Self explanatory I think.
Avalanche Adventure: Quad Bike Safari to 4x4 sessions, Clay Shooting, Gemini Buggies and even our very specialised tracked transport - the DTV Shredder - we offer a wide range of challenging & ultra-fun activities
Crouch Recovery: With an impressive fleet of over 70 Heavy and Light Recovery Vehicles, ranging from service vans and light recovery vehicles to heavy-duty low loaders, mobile cranes and specialist winching units.