Lomond Mountain Rescue Team is one of the busiest in
Scotland and, since its foundation in 1967, has been providing assistance 24
hours a day, 365 days a year to walkers, climbers, tourists and many others in
an area covering over 1,000 square miles.
With over 2 million visits per year to the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, 50,000 walkers annually attempting the West Highland way and Ben Lomond hosting 30,000 walkers and climbers each year, it’s not hard to see why we’re so busy. On average the team is called out 20 to 25 times a year to a diverse range of situations including: lost walkers, injured climbers and mountain bikers, people taken ill in locations inaccessible by ambulance teams, people who are cold, wet and scared, having bitten off a wee bit more than they thought and, unfortunately, occasional fatalities.
The team is a registered charity and consists entirely of
volunteers, currently 32 in number. While being a team member does require a
big commitment in terms of time and effort, it’s something all of us find
incredibly rewarding and derive a great deal of satisfaction from. We generally
train three times a month, two Thursday evenings and one Sunday, with the
additional expectation that members attend fundraising events and activities.
Each year the training programme is designed to ensure that all necessary skills are covered and refreshed, including activities such as search management and line searching, technical rescues requiring rope work, navigation, avalanche rescue, joint exercises with search and rescue helicopters and the rescue boat on Loch Lomond.
For many years the team trained in Drymen Church Hall, but in 2005 moved in to our purpose-built post next to the primary school in Drymen. The post was funded by the Order of St. John and combines garage space for the Search Control Vehicle and Land Rover, equipment storage, a meeting room and kitchen and showers.
The team receives a very limited annual budget from Central Government funds and so relies heavily on donations and fundraising to maintain the post, our equipment, vehicles and the service we provide. The recent donation from Buchlyvie of £10k was very welcome indeed.
As summer approaches many of you will be dusting
off the boots and rucksacks and looking forward to a day in the hills and so it’s
worth just reiterating a few points worth considering:
· Have you told someone where you are going and when you will be back?
· It might be summer down here but it might not be up there! Have you checked the mountain forecasts and packed appropriate clothing?
· Do you have enough food and drink with you to fuel you up and down?
· Do you have a map and compass and, equally important, do you know how to use them?
Enjoy your summer!
Ally CorbettRescue Team website address http://www.lomondmrt.org.uk/