Recently the UK has been hampered by very unusual winter weather which has resulted in the country being blanketed in snow. According to the UK Met office, the last time the UK experienced this level of freeze was 30 years ago. As a result of the snow, the country came to a grinding holt but luck was in hand- A group of volunteers had formed a 4x4 response group (now segmented into different counties) to assist with the transport of hospital staff, care workers and the misc recovery incidents.
I responded to an advert asking for volunteers in the Hampshire & Berkshire area.
The UK Hampshire and Berkshire 4x4 Response Group
The team of volunteers all have one thing in common - a 4x4 of somesort & the desire to contribute to the community through a volunteer program. The website (http://www.hampshire4x4response.co.uk/) provides a good overview of the organisation.
Prior to starting the volunteer service, each member needs to attend an assessment day. During the morning session, one of the committee members will ask about your experience with a 4wd vehicle, review your recovery equipment and provide general thoughts on any subject ranging from vehicle preperation, recovery equipment and effective use and the type of responses encountered.
I arrived at the morning session in my Toyota Land Cruiser (Colorado 3.0TD) and parked next to a TD5 Defender. About 18 vehicles arrived in total - most where Land Rover Discovery's and Defenders but there were a spattering of other makes, namely, my Toyota, a Jeep Wrangler, a Nissan double cab and a Mitsubishi Delica.
As the snow continued to drift down, we had a quick briefing about the Response Group, following by the vehicle assessment and a drive around the snow covered field.
After completing the assessment, you will be allocated a call sign (username) and will be ready to respond to any requirements.
That's it from my side - I will keep the blog updated on any responses I am able to respond to. In summary, I was impressed with the teams commitment to helping the community when needs must. I am looking forward to adding my vehicle to the fleet of volunteers.
Please visit the website for more information. If you are a business that depends of mission-critical staff (doctors, nurses, public service etc), I recommend that you contact the team as they can assist in coordinating the volunteers to provide you with a service.
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