It does not matter how experienced or careful you are, one tiny mistake and you can find that you need rescuing and your life is in the hands of the rescue team. In order to maintain their superb level of efficiency Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team need larger premises. I was very honoured to be asked to become a Patron of the Team’s New Headquarters Appeal, and am delighted to give the venture my full support.
Sir Christian Bonington CBE
The Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team was founded in 1964 by Dr James Ogilvie, Patterdale’s local doctor. A man of vision and action, he was an experienced climber and mountaineer and his efforts established a Team, which has now developed into one of the busiest in the Lake District. The Supporters’ Club was established by the late John Scott in 1998 and there have been 7 Team Leaders since 1964:
- Dr James Ogilvie 1964 - 1973
- Bob Gallagher 1973 -1975
- Joe Boothroyd 1975 - 1983
- Tom Fynn 1983 - 1991
- Dave Freeborn MBE 1991 - 2008
- Martin Cotterell 2008 - 2013
- Mike Blakey 2013 - present
The Team operated from a converted barn provided by the Patterdale Hotel. This was adapted to changing needs over the years, but due to limited facilities had restricted the development of the Team and the service it offered
The new centre is now built and open and has cost in the region of £345,000. It is sited in the heart of Patterdale, has facilities to provide the highest standard of on-site medical care, a dedicated quiet area for friends or family of the casualty, a control room with the latest communications technology, security for vehicles and equipment, an indoor training area and facilities to educate school groups and the general public in the ways of mountain rescue.
The principal problems that forced us to build a new headquarters are shown below -
- No area for keeping the casualty at Base whilst awaiting the County ambulance.
- No clinical treatment area to render first aid before transfer to the ambulance.
- Outside transfer to the ambulance with the possibility of worsening the condition of the casualty.
- Lack of a ‘quiet area’, away from the control room, for relatives/accompanying persons to wait whilst the rescue is in progress.
- No private area for re-uniting the casualty with the relatives/accompanying persons.
- Poor conditions for the communication, office and medical equipment; temperature and humidity control lacking.
- No mice-free storage for the climbing ropes!
- Security concerns during rescues and when the base is closed.
- Lack of covered storage for the rescue boat, with worries about its vulnerability to theft and quicker deterioration.
- No possibility of room for a third vehicle at base.
- Lack of adequate indoor training facilities; both a lecture room and a rope training area would be an asset.
- Lack of indoor maintenance workshop.
- There is no room to expand at the old base.
The new rescue centre, which is now built has solved all of these problems. Our grateful thanks to all who made this project possible. The new Rescue Centre was treated as a one-off capital project and has been funded without recourse to the operational revenue of the Team.