ClevelandMRT – Who we are and what we do:
The Cleveland Mountain Rescue Team is a search and rescue charity comprising of 40 Search and Rescue Team Members who are on call 24 hours a day every day of the year. We are all volunteers, we have no paid staff and our services are offered free to anyone who needs them. In addition we have an Operational Support group with 20 members who help us with fund raising activities, maintaining the vehicles and equipment and a multitude of other jobs.
The Team responds to over 60 call-outs every year where our specialist skills and equipment are needed to help local people and visitors ( of all ages and backgrounds ) who are injured, taken ill, lost, missing or in need of help. We cover a wide area including the North York Moors, the Yorkshire Coast and the communities living in the Tees Valley and along the Vale of York.
ClevelandMRT – Our Call Outs and Community Support Work:
Our Call Outs range from people missing on the fells, and in and around the local towns and villages, to people injured walking, biking, climbing and horse riding. We also assist the other emergency services with tricky evacuations and incidents and with searching for people in distress or with dementia.
During periods of inclement weather ( or at the moment during the Coronavirus crisis ) we support the other emergency services, local councils and housing associations by transporting people who are unwell, getting nurses or doctors to their patients or by delivering important supplies or medicines.
We also have a Water and Flood Rescue unit who help the emergency services with a variety of water related incidents and support local communities across the region during the increasing number of floods ( below photograph is the Team in action during the 2015 York Floods ) and tidal surges.
ClevelandMRT – Our Mountain Rescue Resources:
We have a Mountain Rescue base on the outskirts of Great Ayton where we store our vehicles and search and rescue equipment. The base also has a modern control room where we can co-ordinate our search and rescue operations and can communicate with the Police, Ambulance and other emergency services. The base can also provide secure parking and welfare facilities for team members and other emergency service personnel.
We have two Rescue Land Rovers which have blue light capability and contain our medical, technical and search and rescue equipment needed for search and rescue operations. Both Land Rovers are able to carry a casualty on a stretcher accompanied by a medic.
We have a mobile Incident Control vehicle available to co-ordinate search and rescue operations. Mercedes have kindly loaned us a 4 x 4 SUV vehicle which we use to transport team members, search dogs or equipment during a Call Out and to support fundraising activities.
ClevelandMRT – Our Fund Raising Activities:
All current fund raising events and activities are on hold during the Covid-19 Pandemic and we are not expecting to be able to raise funds from our traditional activities during the rest of 2020.
In a normal year it costs us around £42,000 to run the Team with £9,500 needed to operate our vehicles and £6,000 to cover our base running costs. We also spend £1,500 on medical supplies and equipment, £4,000 on radios and communication and £3,000 on specialist search and rescue equipment.
In 2019 between March and October we raised around £14,000 from our own events and by supporting the many outdoor events which take place within the community. In the same period we raised an additional £12,500 from their attendance at the country shows, bag packing in supermarkets, street collections etc. None of these traditional fundraising activities have been able to take place this year.
We also received around £10,000 from donations from members of the public, local groups etc – some of these will hopefully continue but the worry is that many families and groups will now be short of funds.
In total with some small grants and other miscellaneous sources of income we raised £48,000 in 2019 which has given us a small surplus to support us through the current crisis.
ClevelandMRT – Covid-19 and our Appeal for Funding Support:
We have been quiet during the initial lockdown period as local people respected the request to stay at home and not to go out on the hills or visit the coast. We responded to three requests from the Police to search for people struggling with their mental health.
However, we are now expecting a rapid increase in Call Outs now that the public have been given the okay to increase and extend their outdoor exercise. There are also concerns that there will be more Call Outs to help people struggling with their mental health.
This week we have been called out four times to help local people. We searched for a missing lady in Errington Woods, rescued a 15 year old boy with a broken leg in Guisborough Woods, rescued a 79 year old lady with leg and back injures near Saltburn and searched for and then rescued an injured walker with ankle injuries near Captain Cook's Monument. More information on these Call Outs and others can be found on our website - www.clevelandmrt.org.uk
During the lockdown we have been on standby to support the Local Resilience Forums and local councils but luckily our support was not needed. As the council staff resume their normal jobs we are expecting more requests for community support. We have been busy supporting some womens refuges by delivering donated food, medicines and toys and some of our members are busy delivering medicines and food within their communities.
We need help with raising funds to cover our core running costs so that as a Team we can continue to respond to our search and rescue Call Outs and maintain our community support work.
We have set ourselves a target of raising £2,000 with this appeal. This will help us:
- put fuel in our vehicles for the next few months
- to cover our base runnning costs – heating and electricity, water, insurance etc
- to purchase vital PPE for our volunteers to keep them safe during Call Outs
- to purchase medical supplies to help us treat our casualties
- to replace and maintain equipment used during Call Outs
£2,000 will buy us some breathing space, allow us to focus on delivering help and support to our local communities during the coming few months and time to look for other funding.
To give you an idea of our costs the following graphic gives you an idea of how even a small donation can help us equip and support or volunteers :
During the Covid-19 Pandemic the PPE issued to Team Members costs around £2.00 per person - with 4 Call Outs last week we spent around £100 keeping our volunteers and the families they go back home to safe.
Please help us continue to support our local communities in these strange and challenging times.