17th June 2013
We’re back! We all returned safely back to Fieldbase on Saturday. Every one of us was shattered after a physically and mentally demanding 2 days training in the jungle. However, after one of Loli’s hearty lunches, a shower and a little down time, the PMs immediately started getting ready for their Project Planning Visits (PPV). The Fieldbase Team waved them off very early this morning..
Following the PM and Medic Team’s arrival, and even before the first mess tin was stashed in a rucksack for jungle training, we spent 4 jam-packed days in the classroom learning a huge amount of new practical skills, medical knowledge, health and safety, emergency procedures, leadership, communication and cultural awareness to name but a few topics integral for surviving and keeping our whole team safe in the jungle.
Of course, all risks cannot not be eliminated, particularly in the extreme environment we are working in. However, robust procedures are in place and every single member of this team undergoes a high level of training to minimise them.
The combined experience of our in-country staff Mac and Sarah, as well as Deputy Programme Managers Phili and Ian has armed us with a wealth of expert knowledge and now it’s over to us to share it and instil it into our Venturers.
Excellent communication is also at the heart of everything we do at Raleigh. Today our Radio Room went live as it is the 1st day of PPV and now Fieldbase provide comms cover to our project teams 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. There are speakers all over Fieldbase and we are permanently listening out. (We soon get used to the constant white noise) The Fieldbase Medic is always on duty, we have a minimum of 3 officers manning the comms and adopt 2 forms of back up should there ever be a power cut.
PMs radio into us twice a day with checks and updates. Raleigh are equipped with the best civilian equipment money can buy and the Fieldbase Team practice taking Radio checks, Sitreps, Increps, Tripreps, Medreps, Medevacs and Casevacs dozens of times to share the 24 hour shifts.
In addition to this, we all carry mobile phones and satellite phones. The areas of Borneo that Raleigh work in are very remote, the roads are difficult to access and in some cases projects are based a long way from medical assistance.
Radio comms ensures everyone’s safety and the expedition runs as smoothly as possible when we are out there.
Together with safety and communication, teamwork is key. We have drawn up a Group Contract which is a list of values we have mutually discussed and agreed on so that everybody has the same standards and expectations of each other.
These are our 9 common values we all share and can realistically deliver as a Volunteer Manager Team:
“Don’t be Jack”
I’m alright Jack just doesn’t cut it here and there is no such thing as looking out for number one
Goes without saying!
Leave your ego at the door, appreciate each other’s knowledge and also, each others limitations
Something we all forget to do, but it’s important for morale and to give credit where credit’s due!
Type 1 fun, Type 2 fun – it’s got to be fun!
We’ve got each other’s back, there is no blame culture on this expedition
We will face up to our personal challenges and fears and not rely on a fallback team member
A shared commitment to the expedition
We are a committed bunch and will ensure each one of us has a passion for the project and we all get a good experience out of this
We will be good role models and inspire our Venturers, as well as each other