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Exciting Developments – New Burnley Satellite Base

Rossendale and Pendle Mountain Rescue Team (RPMRT) is pleased to announce the purchase of a satellite base on the edge of Burnley. This has been the culmination of more than 30 years of fundraising and will improve the service we provide to the communities throughout East Lancashire.

Team Leader, Pete Goble, commented:

‘We have long recognised that our Clegg Street base in Haslingden is no longer sufficient for the team that we now are. We have vehicles that are parked outside and age prematurely as a result. With this new unit in Farrington Court we will be able to store all our ambulances inside and protect them from the elements. Over the last four years we have raised funds to replace the whole fleet, and by storing them inside, the life expectancy of the ambulances will be extended.’

RPMRT will retain their main base in Clegg Street in Haslingden, where up to two ambulances can be stored and the training facility utilised. Our operational capabilities will be enhanced by having ambulances stationed in the two locations. Our call outs are spread through Pendle, Burnley, Blackburn, Rossendale and parts of Greater Manchester. By having ambulances situated close to the M65, the response time to incidents in Burnley, Pendle and Blackburn will be reduced while not impacting on the current response times to incidents in the rest of our area.

Chairman, Andy Simpson, commented:

‘This is an exciting development for the Team and will improve the voluntary public service that we provide to the local community for free, as well as improving the long term sustainability of the Team.  We provide a service that covers a lot more than just mountains. In 2014 alone we attended incidents along the Leeds-Liverpool canal towpath, in Burnley and in Blackburn. Much of the public are not aware that we provide a search and rescue service throughout the area, and not just a mountain rescue service. They are surprised when they realise that they may actually require our services one day when they are going for a Sunday afternoon stroll along the canal or their elderly relative suffering from dementia goes missing. We thank the public for their support and hope that they will continue to support us in the future.’

The satellite base will be developed over time, as further funds are raised. Proposed works include upgrading the security, providing an indoor rope training area and classroom, installation of electrics to allow for the ambulances to be plugged in while not in use, installation of welfare facilities and equipment drying/storage areas.

The new training area will allow us to bring local scout, cubs, guides and other local groups to the base and let them learn about our equipment and what we do. They will also have the opportunity to learn how to improve their safety while out on the hill from this new facility. It will be a real community asset for the local area.

We are appealing to local or national companies for help to develop this community asset. We are not asking for cash, although this is always gratefully received, but for equipment, materials and labour to transform the industrial unit into the modern base that will benefit the community. We will raise the funds to do this, but it will take time. The more support from the local companies we can get, the sooner this conversion can be completed. If you can offer help, please do not hesitate to contact Victoria on press@rpmrt.org.uk.

The development will go in several stages. The first stage will be to make it secure and work for the Team on an emergency call out and operational capacity, after which we will hold a formal opening ceremony. Looking to the future, we will raise funds to develop the training capacity of base further with things like rope rescue training facilities, further improvements to the education and training room and will consider enhanced insulation, solar panels, etc. to improve the carbon footprint of the Team. This, of course, all costs money which is hard for a charity such as ours to raise, so all help is gratefully received.

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Theft of Equipment – Press Release

Please see below for wording of the recent press release regarding a theft of equipment:

Rossendale and Pendle Mountain Rescue Team – Theft of Equipment

At some point during the last week, a garage in Nelson that is temporarily being used to store equipment until an alternative facility is found was broken into.

Two equipped medical rucksack bags were stolen. These were filled with all the equipment that you would expect to find in a medical bag, such as bandages, neck collars, airway management equipment, masks, burns equipment, etc.

Twenty rope access harnesses and a drum of 200m of rope had diesel splashed onto them. The effect of diesel is that it can rot through the webbing and rope. As a result we cannot risk these being used again and they will be taken out of service.

In all approximately £15,000 of the £25,000 worth of equipment being stored was either stolen or damaged beyond use in the theft.

The equipment will be replaced to continue training and ensuring that front line equipment is always ready for an emergency. It will take around three years to raise the funds to put us back in the position that we are now.

In the short term we will train using equipment off one of our front line vehicles. We have two response vehicles that carry the same equipment, and one will always be ready in an emergency situation.

Team Leader Pete Goble commented:

The equipment taken is used during Team training so that we do not have to use front line equipment. It is a mirror of what we carry on two of our ambulances. The last thing we want is for front line equipment to be out of our response vehicles having been cleaned after training and being left out to dry when the pager goes off for an emergency that may require the use of that equipment.

RPMRT is a registered charity (Number 508209) made up entirely of volunteers. We are called out through the 999 system and carry out search and rescue duties over 350 square miles of East Lancashire, Pendle, Rossendale and parts of Greater Manchester. We are called out by and work alongside Lancashire Constabulary, Greater Manchester Police, North West Ambulance Service, and Lancashire and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Services, as well as helping out neighbouring teams as requested. If you are interested in learning more about the team the please visit the website www.rpmrt.org.uk. If you would like to donate text RPMR11 £5 to 70070 or hit the donate button on the right hand side of www.rpmrt.org.uk.