Colleagues from Tebay Services and Cairn Lodge Services spent a day with the Kirkby Stephen Mountain Rescue Team learning about their vital work on the fells.
The day was part of the Colleague Volunteering Day programme run by the Westmorland Family of businesses, which includes Tebay Services and Cairn Lodge Services, giving all colleagues the opportunity to take a paid day volunteering for a local community group or charity. The Services teams took part in a practice session to learn how to recover a casualty from a fell and were given insight into the skill and dedication of the teams that keep walkers safe in the countryside.
Westmorland has a strong partnership with the team who raise around £12,000 yearly, nearly half of their annual running costs, from customer collections at Tebay Services.
Claire Urquhart from Tebay Services said, “Strong links to the local community are vitally important to our business and the work of the Kirkby Stephen Mountain Rescue is vital to the Lake District. Their work is entirely staffed by volunteers and they save hundreds of lives annually bringing walkers in distress to safety.”
At the team’s base in Kirkby Stephen, the teams were given an insight into the vehicles and kit, and the vital role of the control room. Lunch was provided by The Bothy, the brand new café at the Mad about Mountains outdoor shop in Kirkby Stephen. Then they had an exhilarating afternoon pairing with team members responding to a practice ‘Shout’ on Nine Standards Fell and treating a leg wound casualty carried out on a stretcher.
Peter Miller, Treasurer of Kirkby Stephen Mountain Rescue Team, commented: “Financially our partnership with the Westmorland Family of businesses is so important to us, so it was great to extend our relationship by offering their colleagues a chance to learn more about how we operate. “
Kirkby Stephen Mountain Rescue Team is entirely funded by donations and is on call 24/7 to deal with emergencies referred through Cumbria Police or the other emergency services. Members often leave their place of work (with employer’s whole hearted support), families or bed to respond to a call, giving reassurance to those venturing out onto the fells and mountains that if they should have an accident then help will be at hand.
The thirty or so full members of the team commit to a rigorous programme of training throughout the year, covering casualty care, off-road and ‘blue-light’ driving, radio communications, search management and swift water rescue. In March the team celebrated its 50th anniversary and launched The Base Resilience project which aims to enhance the team’s provision, to ensure it can respond effectively at any time and in any circumstances to callouts, both on the hills and in the community. For more information or to give a donation visit ksmrt.org.uk.