Cumbria Crack

Mountain rescue teams’ lockdown appeal to visitors

Cumbria’s mountain rescue teams are appealing to visitors to think carefully about their plans for outdoor activities during the national lockdown.

A statement from the Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association said it was repeating its previous lockdown stance as a necessary reminder in order to protect its volunteer team members, their families and the casualties.

The statement says if you need help in the mountains call 999 ask for Cumbria police, mountain rescue, however:

  • Only call upon Mountain Rescue as a last resort, if you are seriously injured or suffering from a medical issue, and cannot physically get yourself off the hill.

The statement says: “We will attend, but with the absolute minimum number of team members needed to complete the task.

“Because of this, the evacuation will be less straightforward and the overall time to transport you to full medical attention will be much longer.

“For minor injuries you may also be clinically discharged at the roadside and asked to organise your own transport home or to your own local hospital as the ambulance crews are under great pressure.”

  • Helicopter support will only be requested by mountain rescue teams through the police if a time critical injury is sustained, but this is not a guarantee of availability as helicopter operations in the mountains are complex and limited by weather conditions and other demands on the service.

It adds: “Given the current extreme cold wintry conditions on the hills and recent observations by team members of extremely ill-equipped parties, we would also like to remind people who are considering venturing into the hills at this time to ensure they are properly equipped (including ice axe and crampons), have sufficient winter mountaineering experience and are complying with the latest strict Government lock down rules on travel restrictions.

“We are asking all hill-goers to be considerate of the resources of the emergency services at this time.

“We can all help by staying at home, only exercising locally to our villages, towns and cities, avoiding risky activities and high mountain terrain, sticking to lowland paths and walkways while strictly observing social distancing principles and the new Government lockdown rules.”

The association is the umbrella organisation representing the 12 teams and 400 volunteers covering the Lake District and Cumbria, dealing with around 600 rescues each year.

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