Duddon and Furness Mountain Rescue Team is staffed by volunteers and funded by donations and partnerships like the one with Wild GOAT Festival. To give you an idea of what we do with the money we raise, here’s a snapshot of my last week. Although it’s not always this busy…
Dragged myself out for a run, and was about to collapse in to my pyjamas when the phone pinged. Wasdale team needed extra people to help a lost walker near Bow Fell. So I gobbled down a pot noodle, grabbed and my kit, and headed out the door.
After a tramp into the boggy Upper Esk with 3 other members of the team, we easily located the walker. Well kitted out and pretty experienced, they’d still managed to take a wrong turn in the cloud. The featureless terrain they landed in didn’t help.
A couple of us accompanied them to their accommodation in Langdale– a different valley to where we’d started – by which time two of our teammates had driven the second Land Rover round to scoop us up. Top planning.
Bit of a different vibe tonight. Five of us welcomed ourlocal Guides to base for a hands on session to learn about Mountain Rescue.They searched for a lost (inflatable) casualty, radio-ed it in (‘All Guides,come quickly. He’s looking a bit deflated!’), and stretchered them to safety.
I love doing sessions like this with the next generation ofmountain walkers, climbers, fell runners, farmers etc. And hopefully – givensome of the comments we got after this session – some of these ladies are thenext generation of Mountain Rescuers too. (See photograph with author on the right.)
Regular team training after work. We do this at least twoevenings and one Sunday a month. Tonight it was practice handling the stretcheron steep ground. A mix of serious skills, and some fun bashing around in thebracken on Lowick Common. It also turned out to be timely practice (spoileralert….)
I made a late decision to have a go at Caw Fell Race. Just up the road and organised by my brilliant club, Black Combe Runners. I’d sweated my way to the top, and was just starting to enjoy the downhill, when I saw my friendPete standing (he should have been running) just below. ‘Don’t worry’ he shouts, ‘here comes Mountain Rescue!’
Another runner in the race had taken a nasty fall on their arm and was in so much pain they couldn’t move. So I flipped into first aid mode, did what I could with our limited kit (eg. using waterproof trousers as a sling) and called for help. After some huddling and waiting, and praising the virtues of foil emergency bags, the team arrived with proper medical kit and everything we needed to get the casualty off the hill. It took us a couple of hours to lower the stretcher down steep sections on a rope and wheel it along a footpath to where the ambulance could pick them up. Hopefully the runner will be beating me in races again very soon.
Huge thanks to volunteer Emma Seery for giving us an insight into being part of a Mountain Rescue Team!
You can read more and find out how to get involved yourself at https://www.dfmrt.org.uk/index.php/donations