Base and Equipment

Base

Since 1996 the team base has been located off the Theatre by the Lake car park near the Borrowdale road. The base was purpose built to store all the necessary equipment, support rescues and provide space for training. We have now outgrown that space and a new extension is planned for 2019, watch this space.

We have five vehicles prepared and ready at all times to respond depending on the requirements of a callout. Two long wheelbase Landrover Defenders are equipped for general mountain rescue along with two 4 x 4 Mercedes Sprinters with more equipment but mostly dedicated to personnel transportation. A third Sprinter is our dedicated water and flood response vehicle with an already inflated boat inside that can be deployed quickly if needed.

Our Fleet

Bravo is our dedicated water and flood response vehicle. Newly purchased and fitted in 2018 it’s main advantage is that it can house a fully inflated RIB that can be deployed quickly. The vehicle is equipped with an effective heater and facilities for decontamination.

Keswick Team is proud of its standards of driving, both on and off road. It may well appear to onlookers to be loud at times, but in fact emergency responses are only to the most life threatening of situations. The excellent training we have received from ex-police driving instructors enables us to get to our access points to the hill swiftly and safely.

Vehicle Contents

This photo shows most of the standard equipment carried by the Landrovers. From medical kit to crag rescue and technical rigging equipment, stretcher, ropes and spare clothing, all equipment is checked at each weekly practice session.

All team members are trained in advanced first aid as a minimum with most having what is known as a Casualty Care qualification. This photo shows some of the first aid and life-saving equipment we carry and which team members must be familiar with in order to deal with the multitude of possible medical or trauma scenarios that can be encountered.

It is important to keep a casualty warm and comfortable. In this photo a team member is lying inside a casualty bag, essentially a waterproof thick fleece sleeping bag. If the casualty had serious injuries and needed to be immobilised we can use a vacuum mattress which is an air mattress filled with beads that can be formed around the patient. When air is pumped out of the vacuum mattress it becomes rigid to hold the patient in a comfortable position and to prevent further injury. The Tyromont Stretcher on the outside is a flexible winchable stretcher that also has handles for carrying short distances, a normal rigid stretcher would be used for longer carries.

Helicopter Support

Air Ambulance

Our local air ambulance, the Great North Air Ambulance, based in Penrith is just a few minutes flying time from most of our area. We are also sometimes helped by the North West Air Ambulance based in Blackpool. Without a winching capability these helicopters have to land to load a patient. A paramedic is always on the crew which means that medical expertise with advanced pre-hospital techniques can normally be brought quickly to the scene.

Coast Guard

These large, powerful and high tech helicopters replaced the iconic yellow RAF Sea King’s in the UK’s mountain rescue arena. Capable of flying in a wide range of conditions and with a large load capacity and winch facility they can be a very welcome sight on many mountain rescues.

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