Buxton Mountain Rescue Team 2020 – message from the Team Leader.

2020 – What a year this has been. Team Leader, Neil Carruthers summed it up as having “presented us with a number of challenges in terms of how we operated in a COVID secure manner, adding a considerable extra amount of work ensuring that we have cleaned and or quarantined all equipment which has been used when dealing with casualties.

The number of call outs is into three figures. When you also consider the team did not attend any incidents in the first half of the initial lock down, it is a good indicator of the additional calls the team has dealt with since the easing of lockdown. One day, we were asked to assist on 6 incidents !

Training has also been far more challenging and ensuring that we maintain our standard of training and readiness has been vital”.

Never have we all looked forward to the New Year as much as we do today. Like the rest of the country, Covid-19 has had a huge impact on individual members and all aspects of the operation of the team, but we have still had a job to do so we have had to make the best of things. Social distancing has not been straight-forward during a rescue, so PPE has always been important, and face to face training has been difficult for much of the year.

Teamwork is vital when evacuating a casualty from a remote location, and it takes time to build through training and exercises. Video meetings have played a great part in helping us maintain contact, but they cannot replace a session designed by our Training Officer with appropriate cold, dark and wet conditions.

Like the swan swimming gracefully through the water, you don’t see the background work moving the team forward. Our Support Team has undergone a transformation, and we are grateful for the work they have done this year.

Our traditional fund-raising activities have also been hit, with no regular street collections, and red boxes in shops and pubs often closed off by the tier restrictions. Thankfully donations have continued through other sources and we are forever grateful for the generosity shown by our supporters. We have worked hard behind the scenes to boost our media presence through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more recently our BMRT YouTube Channel. These have been important ways of engaging with the outdoor community, and a valuable source of income, alongside JustGiving, donations after callouts, and the support of local businesses. Facebook donations have grown this year, and we have exciting plans for our YouTube TV channel.

As we reach the end of another busy year, bringing 102 callouts, we can reflect on the many successful rescues, the emergency services we have worked alongside, the support of each other under some difficult circumstances, but very importantly the sense of being part of a much larger community living, working and playing in the Peak District National Park.East Midlands Ambulance Service, North West Ambulance Service, Derbyshire ConstabularyMaritime and Coastguard AgencyPeak District Mountain Rescue Organisation – PDMRO

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