Review includes a challenging incident exercise

Members of the Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team during the real time incident exercise.
Members of the Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team during the real time incident exercise.
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The Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team (NNPMRT) has undertaken a two-day peer review of all its operations and procedures.

Three very experienced members of the Swaledale, Ogwen Valley and Bolton Mountain Rescue Teams travelled north to support the evaluation of how NNPMRT works.

Members of the Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team during the real time incident exercise.

Members of the Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team during the real time incident exercise.

The first day was spent at Pegswood Community Fire Station, where the team’s vehicles are based, to review all the administrative aspects of its operations.

A challenging real-time incident exercise took place on the second day.

It was based on a scenario presented to the team some 20 years earlier where three individuals had gone to camp overnight in a cave, but failed to return home the following day – resulting in the team being called.

On finding the exercise casualties, two were hypothermic and the third had got up during the night but fell down a rock face, sustaining serious injuries.

The peer review exercise saw the first use of NNPMRT’s new incident control unit. The trailer conversion, which cost £20,000 to fit out, provides a mobile office to organise and control search operations.

Around £15,000 of the total came from donations by a number of local organisations.

A NNPMRT spokesman said: “The review highlighted the urgent need for the team to replace its aging analogue radio system to a digital system fit for the changing nature of call-outs.”

The team’s operational area covers 2,159 square miles and it includes the whole of Northumberland. Donations can be made to it online at www.justgiving.com/nnpmrt