Bases, Vehicles & Equipment
Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team operates out of two bases – Pegswood Community Fire Station near Morpeth and the Ambulance station in Rothbury. The Team’s vehicles and equipment are co-located alongside the statutory emergency services. In the event of an incident members local to the bases respond to pick up the vehicles and vital life-saving equipment.
Additionally, members in the north and west of our operational area have access to emergency service Airwave radios and equipment required to deploy a ‘hasty party’ onto the hill. This equipment is stored at Hexham and Wooler Police stations.
The Team currently owns two Toyota Hilux pickups and a Landrover Defender 110 Station Wagon, all of which have been specially converted to our own design. The vehicles carry a large amount of life-saving equipment and personnel in order to make a rapid and effective response to an incident. All are very capable off-road and have a winch fitted in case we get ‘bogged down’.
The vehicles are very recognisable, complete with ‘Blues and Twos’ lights and sirens and carrying the familiar orange and white chequerboard decals signifying Mountain Rescue.
In addition to three vehicles, we have an incident command trailer. The trailer provides a mobile working environment from which incidents can be coordinated, when away from a suitable building, and carries everything necessary to facilitate this including a generator, radios and satellite broadband to access the internet.
The Team carries a large amount of specialist equipment in order to carry out its role and provide the most effective and professional service to those who are lost, overdue, missing or injured. This equipment includes:
- Medical equipment (AEDs, Oxygen, Entonox).
- Communication and IT equipment (mobile phones, Airwave and high band radios, laptops with incident and search management software, SPOT Trackers).
- Specialised stretchers (Bell, Titan, MIBS).
- Technical rope rescue equipment (rope access hardware, ropes, ground anchors).
- Shelters (large group shelters, tents).
- Water rescue equipment (dry suits, personal flotation devices, throw lines, helmets).
- Winter equipment (avalanche transceivers, snow shovels, probes).
- Access equipment (bolt-croppers).
Each operational member supplies most of their own personal clothing and equipment for use in the outdoor environment (rucksack, boots, etc). A certain amount of personal protective equipment is issued to each operational member at the Team’s expense including waterproof outer layers, warm mid-layers, high-powered head and handheld torches, helmet and harnesses, and protective eyewear.
Maintaining and Replacing Equipment
As you can imagine there are significant ongoing costs involved in purchasing new, maintaining existing and replacing old and worn out or out-of-date equipment. A Mountain Rescue stretcher for example costs in the region of £2,000, a fully converted vehicle is approximately £56,000 and just to equip an operational member costs around £2,500!
If you are able to help us with these costs your support would be very much appreciated – simply click on the ‘Donate’ button at the top of the page and follow the instructions. Thank you.