Mountain Rescue Volunteers

A search dog seems unimpressed as Cleveland Mountain Rescue Team volunteers watch the departure of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance taking a casualty to James Cook Hospital. The team, supported by neighbouring teams from Scarborough, Teesdale and Swaledale, had been searching for a 39 year old man since he was reported missing by his family at 1:20 in the morning. It was the team’s sixth call out this year with overnight temperatures below freezing. I understand the man is now recovering.

The closeness to a situation brings an appreciation of the time and effort put in by Mountain Rescue teams. In this incident lasting almost ten hours 70 volunteers were involved not forgetting the five search dogs. Down in the car park I counted five vehicles which need maintaining and replacing sometime in the future. Mountain Rescue teams are dependent on contributions from the public. All of us who use the great outdoors should consider generously supporting mountain rescue teams as often as possible.

What made today particularly sobering is that the casualty was a runner who has taken part in local events although I understand he was not dressed in his running kit. When out on the fells on your own it is fundamental that someone knows your approximate route and when you’ll be back. I must admit I am frequently guilty but I have come across a clever simple system which I do try to remember to use. It’s called SpotMe and I do recommend it. Basically it involves before you set out sending a sms text message to the SpotMe server stating your route and time expected back. And when you do get back you send another text telling the server that you are safe. If no ‘safe’ message is received by your expected return time in the first instance your nominated contact is notified. It’s very easy and works with just the poorest of mobile signals. No fancy 4G signal needed. Should you change your plans en route then an intermediate text can be sent with the update. Simples as they say.

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