Tow Show 2019 demonstrates industry collaboration

The Professional Recovery Tow Show 2019 was at Telford again this year.  The IVR were proud to be a part of such a great event for the Recovery Industry, and excited to show the course developments that have been made during the last year such as the DCPC hours formatted into the VR27 – Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Awareness course,  and it was a great show again for all involved.

The first stop was the Business seminar.  Held in the Wenlock Suite and attracting over 100 delegates, the Business Seminar tackles pressing industry topics presented by industry experts and debated by the delegates.

It was a very positive seminar Chaired by Derek Firminger and open to the Trade Associations for the first time, it showed how many of the associations and companies work together to support the recovery industry as a whole.  Involving themselves in campaigns such as Professional Recovery Operators Federation (PROF) and supporting charities such as Recovery Industry Support Charity (RISC). The importance of providing excellent training to ensure safe working environments was highlighted, and how continuing to work together as an industry is the way forward.

Ben Johnson from call assist started the seminar. His acknowledgement of Call Assists’ commitment to supporting the work of both Slow Down Move Over (SDMO) and PROF was well received. Then Creative’s Mike Lowe and Steven Blake followed with their presentation describing how they help the Recovery Industry to meet the demands and changes, allowing companies within the industry to support the regulations of today, but also plan for the future. They continue to be stakeholders in SDMO, and supported the launch of PROF earlier this year.

Steve Smith, AVRO President, then went to the floor to explain their commitment to the AVRO Benevolent fund that was formed in 1983 and their close working relationships with the Recovery Industry Engineering Standards (REIS), The Institute of Vehicle Recovery (IVR) and The All-party Parliamentary Group for Transport, (APPG).  Steve continued to highlight their stakeholder commitments with SDMO, their membership commitments with the Federation of Vehicle Recovery Associates (FoVRA) and the European Rescue and Recovery Initiative (ERRI). 

The Chairman for the Road Rescue Recovery Association (RRRA), Shaun Coole, also spoke about their involvement and support of SDMO and explained how important their seat on the Executive Committee of the Safe Use of Roadside Verges in Vehicular Emergencies (SURVIVE) was  to maintain the input of their members and the industry as a whole, stating “ They are operators working on behalf of operators”

Our very own IVR vice chairman, Mark Hartell, addressed the seminar next with a presentation titled ‘Training today to secure your tomorrow’. He gave a brief history of the formation of the IVR in 1983, and the progression to the formation of IVR UK in 2006 after their appointment as Administrator of NHSS17. He continued to explain how this led to the formation of the VR Modular training system to ensure minimum standards for all trainers and training providers.

As many speakers before him had already done, Mark emphasised the importance of collaborative work amongst the industry as a whole.  Thanking the likes of SDMO, RRRA, PROF and AVRO, as well as many others for their support.

Paul Anstee from SDMO also spoke about the importance of working together stating “The Recovery Industry needs to unite and speak with one voice” He outlined the progress of the campaign, and said “My initial aim is to ensure respect from all road users for the safety of Vehicle Recovery Operators.”

The final presentation came from Richard Goddard. Founder and spokesman for the Campaign for Safer Roadside Rescue & Recovery (CSRRR).  He talked about the progress of PROF since its launch in Parliament in February 2019. He also re-iterated how important it is as an industry to work as a team, stating that it was encouraging to see the industry come together to show support for the campaign.  The written evidence provided by associations such as the RAC, RISC, ERRI, and the National Tyre Distributors association (NTDA) led to an oral evidence debate at the Houses of Commons in July 2019.  The IVR supported the campaign and PROF by attending the extended house at Westminster along with RISC, NTDA and Tendo.  Another great example of the industry supporting one another.

The Seminar came to a close, and everyone agreed that it was a positive and successful event.

The evening of the 24th September saw the Avro Social Evening take place on behalf of the AVRO Benevolent Fund.  This fund supports and provides assistance to anyone in the roadside recovery industry, regardless of membership.  The IVR joined Avro and over 100 people to enjoy the entertainment, but more importantly to support the charity auction and raffle by donating a VR27 course for 6 people.  Paul Forder, Council member of the IVR, attended the evening “It is a great event, and  to raise so much money for such a great charity is really important”  he continued “this charity provides the support that many recovery operators, their family and staff need, but can rarely find, whether it be counselling after a traumatic recovery, or financial support during sickness or even hire help with equipment such as wheelchairs, nothing is too much trouble”

The raffle and auction raised nearly £7,000.  An excellent achievement for our friends at Avro.

The Tow Show was officially opened by Sir Mike Penning, Chairman of the industry APPG.  Wednesday and Thursday saw a record number of exhibitors, and a record number of visitors.  The IVR stand received a steady stream of visitors with enquiries regarding membership and details of courses available.  Tracy Bowles, Marketing and PR Executive of the IVR stated “This has been a really good show for us, we have been networking really hard with fellow exhibitors, and have enjoyed it”.  The chairman of the IVR, Chris Hoare, said “sometimes it is difficult to measure the success of the show attendance, but this year it was a good show for both us and the PROF campaign, I am really happy with the exposure”.

With the Show dates released for 2020 now for September 31st and November 1st the IVR Group have already booked their stand.  Looking forward to seeing you next Year!!