The Big Rescue Event 2018 is a training day with a difference. Primarily it’s aimed at climbers that already hold the NPTC 206/306 (old CS38) ticket and would benefit from a days refresher. Secondly all money raised from the event is being donated to the Air Ambulance Service.

Having spent 20 years in the arboriculture industry, from student through contract climbing to running my own company, and now instructing and assessing for City & Guilds NPTC, I have covered quite a broad spectrum of the industry and have had the pleasure of meeting a lot of people from all walks of life. My main focus now is on what I call the safety side of the industry.

Aerial rescues have always been a large part of the tree climbing courses I have either assessed or trained, but how often are these skills actually practised or refreshed in the “real world”? In parts of the industry they are a requirement, especially with some of the larger contractors, but how often would ‘John Smith Tree Contracting’ undertake a refresher or practice?

I recently delivered a refresher course to three climbers from industry. On completion they told me that the refresher was not only the most thorough but also the most informative they’d experienced. This really made me think that the standard of refresher could be fairly low or at best limited.

My idea is to promote the need for regular practice and/or updates on aerial tree rescue. This can either be at work on site with team leaders/managers calling a rescue when the team doesn’t know it’s going to happen or through training providers.

Having contacted contractors in Warwickshire and the surrounding counties to share with them the idea of a large event where qualified climbers are updated on rescue techniques the idea of The Big Rescue Event 2018 was born. The event is now fixed to take place on Friday 14 September at Home Farm, Compton Verney, Warwickshire CV359HJ. Places are limited to 100 climbers each paying £50 and, on successful completion will receive a certificate of attendance. More importantly 100% of that £50 and any other money raised on the day (yes there will be a raffle with some excellent prizes pledged) will be donated to the Air Ambulance Service. This is a service that we all hope we will never have to call upon but should we be unfortunate enough to one day require its services then if we are able to save just one life as a result of this event it will have been worth it.

Climbers attending will be assessed by qualified assessors who have all agreed to donate their time free of charge to the event. Donations and registration will be via the Big Rescue Event 2018 Just Giving Page. In the meantime for more details please contact me at I look forward to seeing you on the day or if you can’t attend then please consider making a donation to this worthy cause.