Team Visit Derbyshire Police Control Room
The police have the ultimate responsibility to preserve life and therefore are always central to any mountain rescue call-out. Although mountain rescue is now regarded as an emergency service it has no central control room of its own. All request for the services of a mountain rescue team are initially handled by either the police or the ambulance service for the region in which the incident occurs. When brief details have been obtained the Peak District Duty Incident Controller is contacted who will make the decision as to what the appropriate response of mountain rescue will be. Rescue teams and search dogs are then called out as necessary.
The Peak District Mountain Rescue Organisation covers parts of seven county police forces and six regional ambulance services. To avoid any operational confusion, Derbyshire Police is always informed of an incident wherever it occurs, and maintain a log of the resources deployed.
So with Derbyshire Police being the main player it was only fitting that the team should pay a visit to the Operational Control at Ripley to see just how a call-out is handled.
Control Room Supervisor, Karen Alton, was on hand to describe how each stage of an emergency call is received, logged and actioned. In an extremely busy call-centre it would be very easy to mislay or forget information but strict procedures, not to mention a lot of skill and experience, ensure that the process is fast and flawless. Modern I.T. systems and mapping technology enhance the speed of decision making and coordination so that there is never any unnecessary delay getting a rescue team moving to an incident.