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  • tackbaldwin


Over the years, Oh no 'during the war'. Ok 13 years of volunteering & 8 as the training officer for a team of highly trained Urban search & rescue techs that travel to the world's worst disasters from Tahiti, Haiti, Kathmandu and Beirut, known as SARAID My proudest moment came when with the team, on a 4 day exercise scrutineered by a U.N team of classifiers from around the world, We became the first NGO in the UK & 3rd light team to gain U.N INSARAG accreditation as a USAR team worldwide.

I know I've spoken of trips abroad on set and to some I've just been the annoying guy saying don't go near the edge. The other side of that coin is the collective responsibilty the team has of being there when SHTF (that's a google moment). 13 years of personal, team training & development to make sure, on set at least, we are the least active & laziest looking bunch. But I needed all my wits about me for the accreditation week as this was a full blown exercise from mobilisation, simulated air travel preparedness (yes I do vacuum pack my smalls) & in country USAR scenario. All of us watched, questioned & assessed as the drama unfolded.

I don't know about you but I always hated exams, making sure I had my spare lucky pencil, wrote my name & didn't catch the invigilators eye. To be fair the classifiers were engaging, asking the whys & wherefores of the practical or theoretical behind each element. From arrival, deployment, survey & then elements of equipment use. Admittedly I never got to show them I'd weighed all my vacuum packed grundies.

The singularly important point I'm making is that every single thought, design, action or tool has been carefully considered & evaluated. Even the fact I have 'Tack' written on my bum, yes they did ask and as I pointed out, when bent down a hole you need to know who's asset you're kicking !

My oppo, previously referred to as 'Rosewood'...Changed my mind, now known as 'Klunk' had already started assessing a new HT for Shadow. In a "wherrrrp pang whooaa" moment he placed the B1 in my hand saying it could be used as an android phone, analogue & digital HT, DMR & DMRoip, Zello, Echolink, Teamspeak3 "brring phrut whiirrr"...You get the picture. Don't ask me go here :

What I did realise is interoperability, ha ha see I can do big words, has become essential for any team working in challenging multi disciplinary environments (boo yah). Without the 'Klunk' words, it means data, files, photos & voice comms are expected to be available up the chain of command. Long & short of it, I gripped said object & took it on exercise to show the SARAID team. It also meant that when asked what it was I said "it's a brreeooh wrrlawrrl arghchooo wheep arp pow"

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