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Old 08-09-2016
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Warren Dukes Warren Dukes is offline
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Forum Handle: Warren Dukes
Highlands 4x4 Response
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Evanton, Highland
National Callsign: HI22
Amateur Radio Callsign: MM3ZSR
Posts: 744

Originally Posted by JerryG View Post
Well this has opened the proverbial can of worms!
I don't know who made the initial call upon our services - Wales can enlighten us on that.
All I know is if we are asked to assist then that is what we do, shouldn't we?
The semantics of who pays etc is irrelevant to me as long as I get some recompense for fuel used.
I don't know of any commercial set up who could assemble 10 or 12 4x4's at a few hours notice, with more available if required, in a location away from any large centre of population - unless you know different.
The organisers did call in help locally and they ended up with tractors from local farmers etc. They were also intending sending the festival contractors around from the main festival site when that was clear and safe. Bear in mind the car parks we were operating in were some distance from the festival site itself.
They promptly ripped up the fields making large ruts which when you pulled a car over them removed various bits off the front end!!
For our part there was NO injury, or damage to ourselves or our vehicles, nor to any of the vehicles we assisted out of the car parks. The same cannot be said for other third parties who were involved in the exercise!
To respond to a point made in another thread, some of us are trained in winch work (not used here I hasten to add!) and recovery techniques, and the very nature of 4x4Response membership means that we are a responsible group who undertake risk assessments at every step of the way.
To the point about planning and contingency by the organisers, the whole thing must have been approved by the local authority and police before a licence was granted, so perhaps the criticism should be aimed at them? Perhaps they failed in their duty of care in not ensuring that proper advance arrangements were in place?
What I can tell you is that the festival goers we helped were absolutely delighted, some congratulated us on our professionalism and careful removal of their vehicle from the site. Some said they would prefer us to help them rather than a large tractor.
As to the whole question of liability and insurance then that indeed is something for National to consider and offer guidance on together with our insurance experts.
But from a purely personal point of view I just wish we could move away from the PC brigade, the ambulance chasers, and all the other litigation and money motivated creepy crawlies and let common sense prevail!! Some hope! There, I've said it now and feel much better!
Let's learn from these events and come up with some guidlines that we can all sign up to.
Hi Jerry, I doubt you'll ever come across anyone less PC than me mate. My point is not about any of the work done up until now, but, and it's a big but, it's more about the single occasion where something goes squiffy and something or someone gets broken. No amount of goodwill in the world will help against a clued up ambulance chaser, who's sole purpose in life is to make shed loads of cash out of other peoples misfortunes at any cost to the "defendant" for want of a better expression.
It would only take one incident to go that way and the gutter press would have a field day. If that were to happen, unless we as an organisation were on very solid ground, legally speaking it could easily spell the end of 4x4R as we know it. I've been doing this since 2001 when I first joined Somerset 4x4 Response, as it was then, and it would sadden me beyond belief if it all went belly up. It's not a rant, I hope - it wasn't meant to be...
Warren Dukes
My comments and opinions are all my own work and not those of my group - unless otherwise stated.

Last edited by Warren Dukes; 10-09-2016 at 09:45 AM.
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