Kendal Mountain Search and Rescue Team have announced the arrival of their new control vehicle.
Although it will inherit the call sign “Mobile 2”, the vehicle itself will be called Eric in memory of Eric Barrington a former team member and treasurer following a generous donation from his daughter.
The new vehicle was purchased with help from the Readers to the Rescue Campaign run by the Westmorland Gazette.
The vehicle was converted by Pickup Systems in Burnley and is a 4 wheel drive ford transit van. It is equipped with both satellite and mobile broadband and integrates with the team’s digital radio system which allows communications with all the other mountain rescue teams across the Lake District.
It has five seats to get rescuers to the scene of an incident. The two seats in the back are on swivel plates. This allows a desktop to fold up on arrival at an incident so that work can be done using the two computers built into the vehicle. This gives the incident manager secure and reliable access to the SARCALL system that we use to communicate with other teams, the police, fire and ambulance service. The vehicle is equipped to provide practically all the resources that are available in the main control room at our base in Kendal.
It has also been designed to carry a loaded stretcher and the swivel seats are arranged so that a casualty carer can safely sit comfortably next to the patient when the vehicle is moving. This brings a number of practical advantages, not least of which is being able to talk to and reassure the casualty as well as being able to monitor their condition more easily than in a Land Rover.
The vehicle was unveiled to the public at the Emergency Services open day held on Busher Walk, Kendal on the afternoon of the 27 October, where the public met team members and had a look around our base and vehicles as well as the Police, Fire and Ambulance stations. There was a demonstration of stretcher lowering from the training tower at the fire station. Following this it was used during an overnight team training navigation exercise in the northern end of the Kentmere valley.
The vehicle replaces our old mobile 2, which has been passed onto Penrith Mountain Rescue Team earlier in the summer and has already seen use on a number of occasions ferrying rescuers around.
Team Leader Dave Howarth said: “This new vehicle is amazing. It will make managing callouts a lot easier by having the control point closer to the incident. It will provide a perfect rendezvous point and briefing location if additional resources are needed. It will also provide resilience and additional capacity during major incidents such as flooding when it will operate either independently or in tandem with base. ”
Chairman Dave Hughes said: “On behalf of the team I must thank the Westmorland Gazette and everyone else who contributed to the campaign both companies and individuals. We could not have done it without their help. I must also thank the team members who have taken a lead in designing and delivering this vehicle.
“It was a challenge to integrate the very latest technology and still deliver our basic needs in such a robust way. I believe that this vehicle will be a mainstay of our fleet for many years to come.”