Having attained 20 years old on Saturday 8 September 2018, we celebrated on Sunday 9 September 2018 evening at Venachar Lochside, near Callander.
The day was fitting as it was also the inaugural Emergency Services Day #999dayuk
We were honoured to welcome Pat Greenhill, Vice Lord Lieutenant for Stirling and Falkirk; Christine Simpson, Provost of Stirling, Rear Admiral Roger Lockwood, Chair of the Scottish Council of the RNLI, Shabir Beg, Chairman of the Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society and Sheenah Nelson, Chair of the Helensburgh and District CPR/Defibrillator Association, Gordon Smith, Area Service Manager from the Scottish Ambulance Service, Rhona Mackinnon from WEL Medical and many other friends and former members.
Thanks were extended to WEL Medical for their kind donation to the event.
Rear Admiral Roger Lockwood served 34 years in the Royal Navy, then as Chief Executive of the Northern Lighthouse Board - responsible for navigational aids at sea and lighthouses and is now a Trustee of the RNLI and Chair of its Scottish Council. Roger held those attending in complete suspense recounting the difficult rescue of the crew of cargo vessel Green Lily by crews from an RNLI lifeboat and HM Coastguard helicopter during which the winchman Bill Deacon lost his life - having saved many of the ship's crew. Heaving seas, gale force winds, masterly seamanship and immense bravery - with 15 lives saved! It brought into focus that so much is done by SAR personnel - all facing the same dangers, whether employed or volunteers. Roger then invited everyone to toast 'Trossachs Search and Rescue Team'.
Our chairman Stuart Ballantyne, gave a moving account of the reasons for the formation of the team, the opposition they had faced that included threats from senior police officers involved in mountain rescue teams to some of the then cops including himself of being moved station and home and of even dismissal from the force, and their determination as founder members not to bow to bullying as they knew their work would prevent accidents, prevent deaths, give the community the skills and equipment they needed to save lives when things did go wrong.
Then there was Stockline and The Clutha - two major incidents the search dogs and our personnel had worked hard at and identified casualties under the rubble; the 20 years of delivering free CPR training, training over 2500 last year alone, the last five years placing public access defibs - now 132 units in communities and 12 lives saved so far. Supporting Police Scotland, Scottish Ambulance Service, Scottish Fire and Rescue and HM Coastguard, NHS Forth Valley and Stirling Council...so many young team members had gone on to joining the emergency services or were in training to become doctors - and that gave him the greatest personal pleasure - to see youngsters leaving and going on to serve the public and have a lifelong career.
What makes our team different? - half of its membership is women, the other half are men - a very different and beneficial partnership compared to all men organisations, bringing different priorities, experiences, skills and determinations.
He closed by thanking the communities and companies who support us, enable us to do our work and made mention that the team was so humbled to receive an award from the community of Fintry - an award that someone had taken the time to make from wood, reproduce our logo, handpaint and varnish - it had pride of place in our base and was truly appreciated by us.
One of the founding members - Judith Shaw, raised another toast.
So, 20 years ticked off - ROLL ON THE NEXT TWENTY!
For all the pictures taken on the evening please visit our Facebook page by clicking here.
Team Member Sarah Wilde has also posted a members perspective of the team at and you can read this here.
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