Since the Government COVID-19 lockdown policy changes on Sunday 10th May the Peak District Mountain Rescue Organisation (PDMRO) have seen a significant rise in the number of callouts for their volunteers. The teams from Buxton, Derby, Edale, Glossop, Kinder, Oldham, and Woodhead along with Derbyshire Cave Rescue Organisation have been called Thirty-Seven times from 18th May – 31st May 2020 (inclusive) compared with only eight callouts for the same period in 2019, an increase of 362.5%.
The callouts have included 5 missing vulnerable person searches (three deceased), walkers with lower leg injuries, benighted walkers, unexploded ordnance from world-war II, injured Mountain Bikers, three climbing accidents (one fatal). These incidents have been dealt with in partnership with other emergency services including Police, Fire, Ambulance, Air Ambulance, Army and the Peak District National Park Rangers.
All Mountain Rescue Teams in England and Wales are made up entirely of unpaid volunteers who receive no Government funding and rely entirely on the donations of the public. Working to industry standards for Search and Rescue in the UK, during the COVID-19 pandemic the teams are also having to include the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to protect against the risk of infection. This added burden means the addition of extra layers of clothing and equipment, making an already difficult job more challenging.
As the lockdown measures ease further the teams will be able to start re-instating training and business meetings which along with more callouts will add to their commitments for the coming months. However many fundraising opportunities have already been cancelled and more will still not be able to go ahead in the future.
You can help PDMRO and it’s teams by planning your outings; limiting the risks taken; taking enough provisions including map, compass and torches; wearing the right attire such as footwear and weather-appropriate clothing; not using (or putting out) all open flames, BBQs or discarding used cigarette ends in the countryside; finding your local teams and following them on social media for the latest advice in your area, and of course consider donating to help them continue to provide their services throughout the year.
If you require Mountain Rescue in an emergency, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Police, then Mountain Rescue.
The press release is also available to view offline using the link below.