Grant is major boost to mountain rescue team

The North West Mountain Rescue Team is made up completely of volunteers, who all work full-time jobs but are ready to respond even in the middle of the night.

The North West Mountain Rescue Team is made up completely of volunteers, who all work full-time jobs but are ready to respond even in the middle of the night.

North West Mountain Rescue Team are to receive vital funding from the Department of Justice’s grants package for voluntary search and rescue groups in Northern Ireland.

The team have been told they are to receive £75,000 of the £240,000 capital funding package announced this week by Justice Minister Claire Sugden.

Minister Sugden said: “This vital funding package of £240,000 will immediately benefit the voluntary Search and Rescue teams who, around the clock, are ready to answer calls from people in distress.

“In the first six months of this year, volunteers responded to around 250 incidents, and contributed around 10,000 operational hours.  Their dedication, enthusiasm and courage is outstanding.” 

A spokesperson for NWMRT said the £75,000 allocated would help secure three 4-wheel drive vehicles, so essential for the life-saving and frequently difficult and dangerous situations to which the team is on standby to respond, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Already this year, the NWMRT have responded to nearly 30 incidents - over once a fortnight - right across the whole of Northern Ireland and sometimes to assist our colleagues on the rest of the island of Ireland.

“This funding is invaluable in order to continue that essential work” said Joe Dowdall, the Team Leader.

The NWMRT would also like to wish everyone a very Merry …and safe…Christmas and New Year and remind people who are venturing out over this period, to go properly prepared for any eventuality, especially in remote and challenging situations, remember to tell someone where you are going and what time you expect to be back and not to hesitate in calling 112, ask for the Police and then Mountain Rescue, should you find yourself in difficulties.