The Team has had a variety of buildings during its history. The first base
was a wooden hut next to the car park at High Force, in upper Teesdale, provided
by Raby Estate. There are many former Team members with fond memories of exercises
run from the hut and weekends spent sleeping on the concrete floor.
The next development was a collection of garages rented from Teesdale District
Council and located in Barnard Castle. These
provided storage for Team vehicles and a limited amount of office space, but
nothing more. Team training continued
to be carried out at a variety of locations including the Wheatsheaf Inn in
Staindrop, Staindrop Comprehensive School and Bishop Auckland Police Station
(in the social club – cheap beer!).
In December 1998, towards the end of the lease period for the garages, the
Team received an offer from the Durham Police Authority of some land behind
Barnard Castle Police Station. After
a frantic two years of planning and fund-raising (including help from the National
lottery) the purpose built Rescue Centre was officially opened by Lord Barnard
on Saturday 31st March 2001.
The new Rescue Centre consists of a double garage area for the vehicles, which
includes a rope training wall, shaft rescue platform and adjustable slope. Adjoining this is a humidity controlled drying
room. The base also includes a control room with archive store, disabled toilet
facilities, briefing room, kitchen area, and an upstairs large meeting / presentation
room. As well as ample storage and maintenance areas for all the Team's equipment,
the base is also equipped with a powerful multi-media computer system and an
array of audio-visual equipment including video projection.
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