It has been a particularly long weekend.

On Friday, we had a leaving do at work, so I popped out for a swift pint before heading back to the office to pick up my coat and bag and head off. As I was leaving, one of the project managers set off the alarm for the building so after helping with that, I headed up to pick Lynfa up from Merthyr. We finally got some beer and headed back home to have a nice curry. Halfway through, the pager goes off. We grabbed details of a search due to start the following morning for an elderly gentleman in Milford Haven. Putting the beer back in the fridge, an early night was in order and we went to bed.

Sat dawned early and wet for us at about 0515. Lima left base at 0700 for the 2-hour journey down to Milford Haven. We were quite short-handed and with lots of people on holiday, there were two other teams who were effectively non-operational this weekend as well, so enough people had to be kept back at base to deal with other incidents, if (when?) they occurred. We did, however, manage to get the first response vehicle, if only because it has a radio (of the usual listen-to-music kind as opposed to a 2-way radio) in it and it’s a 2 hour drive to Milford Haven…

I spent the day navigating with Caroline – one of our dog handlers, and Keeper (the dog). We had some awful areas surrounding the new LNG plant in Milford Haven, but we did our best with more than one person during the day succumbing to the pull of the bog. Heavy rain hampered our efforts at times and by lunchtime, we were looking forward to the nice hot meal from the Tesco café that the Inspector had promised. For whatever reason, there was a change of plan (for the better, for once!) and we ended up in the restaurant of a very nice hotel on the seafront. Steak and ale pie, wild mushroom and goats cheese lasagne – this place had REAL food, and we happily devoured it. My greatest thanks to the Inspector – this really did make a difficult search in poor weather far more comfortable for us – and don’t underestimate the morale of the troops as a factor in the probability of detection when you’re searching.

With no sign by the end of the day, we finished off with a search of a nearby cornfield (that’s corn-on-the-cob corn, not wheat) and then headed off. The vehicle was quiet home as we were lost in our thoughts about the misper. Back at base, we re-set the vehicle in case of another callout and headed home – Lynfa and I to a nice stir-fry and showers along with a well-deserved couple of pints.

We sat down with a nice cup of tea (why does tea always taste so fantastic when you’re knackered, wet and cold? Never mind chicken soup, tea is the food of the soul), and Lynfa was wandering around the hose after her shower with a towel around her head when the pager went off again. We looked at each other.

“Do we go?”
I shrugged. “This is what we do. This is what it’s all about, isn’t it?”

We jumped back into our still-wet gear and headed off to the callout. We made base in time for the second vehicle and with Tim driving and me on the sirens, we headed through Hirwaun and on down to Porth yr Ogof. The details of this callout are sketchy (well, I don’t know them, obviously someone does *grin* ), but we did have a number of people injured and a few more who were not suffering from injuries, but were quite cold. There was an excellent turnout as vehicles arrived from both Brecon and Bridgend to join us, two ambulances and an ambulance officer and a collection of police officers. As family members and walking wounded arrived at the control point, ambulances were dispatched with cold walkers and more ambulances arrived. At around 2345, with Rescue 169 on its way we were making arrangements for evac when the message from the police came in – another callout, in the Rheidol Falls near Aberystwyth. I have even less details on this one – apparently some people were in the river – on purpose as I understand it, but with 6 people going in, only 5 came out. Brecon team, with their fast-water response equipment were pulled off the current incident and headed up to Aberystwyth and a request was made for the Aberglaslyn team to attend this call and provide assistance.

We carried on where we were and despite some communications problems, Rescue 169 did an incredible job of airlifting two casualties out of the area at night and in poor weather. They were quickly dispatched to hospital and we rapidly made preperations to move the control vehicle to Aberystwyth to help with that callout – but a quick phone call and we were informed that they didn’t need the assist from us. So after a few cups of tea we headed back to base, put the equipment to dry and reset the vehicles as best we could before heading home. I think I crawled into bed at about 0300.

…only to be woken at 0655 by the stand down for the Aberystwyth callout (cheers guys!).

Sunday, Lynfa and I decided to rest, and we did. Finally getting that stir-fry done and just relaxing. Last thing on Sunday after taking Lynfa home, I re-packed my now-dry kit ready in case we had a callout on Sunday night. Well, it’s what we do, isn’t it?

5 Responses to “2 for the price of 1…”

  1. malc says:

    Dead jealous! Have been doing that ruddy exam this weekend, but did have a good time at Katchuri’s Ceilidh on Saturday night. Louisa was amazed when I said it was a callout in Aberystwyth! Still no car…


  2. taffyboy says:

    You’d have loved it, it was the usual information-flying-in-every-direction-chaos. 🙂

    Erk, what kind of noises are the garage making?

  3. bronchitikat says:

    What a way to spend a Saturday? & what’s the hotel in Milford Haven? Places selling REAL Food should be publisised.

  4. taffyboy says:

    I *think* it was the Lord Nelson Hotel, but I’ll need to confirm that.

  5. anonymous says:

    Yes hun, it was the lord Nelson..

    And it was 3.40 by the time we got in, we were still in base at 3. It was a cracking yet long and hard day, but the food kinda made up for all the running around!!!!

    Lyn. xx