14th October 2016 NEW MOUNTAIN RESCUE CENTER OPENS
A new mountain rescue centre located in the grounds of Durham Community Fire Station will be officially opened on Saturday 15 October.
Representatives from Teesdale and Weardale Search and Mountain Rescue Team (TWSMRT) and County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service (CDDFRS) will be joined by local councillors and other emergency services for speeches and tours of the site on Lanchester Road, Sniperley Park, to mark the special occasion.
The event will begin at 11am on Saturday and at 11.30am Councillor Audrey Laing, the deputy chair of County Durham and Darlington Fire Authority and Kathleen Scott, the widow of former rescue team member, Chris Scott after whom the new centre is named, will unveil the official plaque.
Funding for the Chris Scott Search and Mountain Rescue Centre is connected to a successful bid to the government’s Transformation Fund in 2015/16. This joint bid by County Durham and Darlington Fire Authority, Durham Police and Crime Commissioner’s office and North East Ambulance Service NHS Trust was awarded £3.78m to create the first emergency services quad station in the country. This quad station is currently being built in Barnard Castle.
TWSMRT will have a base in the new quad station along with the fire, police and ambulance services. The successful outcome of the bid also created an opportunity for County Durham and Darlington Fire Authority to support the mountain rescue team to develop an additional base in Durham.
The new centre built to the same specifications as Durham Community Fire Station, which opened in 2015, will enhance TWSMRT’s ability to react to emergencies. With vehicles located in Durham and Barnard Castle it will allow a quicker response to the north and east of the county while maintaining sufficient capability to respond to the more traditional upland areas to the west and south.
The new centre in Durham includes an office, training, storage and drying facilities a mezzanine floor and internal parking bays for rescue vehicles and support trailers. The centre will be used on training days and as a base during incidents. Mountain rescue volunteers will also use facilities at the fire station as and when needed.
Stuart Errington, chief fire officer for County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We are very pleased to be working alongside TWSMRT at our new quad station, which is set for completion by the end of the year and also here in Durham at this fantastic new facility. We have always worked closely with other emergency services and organisations such as mountain rescue. Sharing locations and buildings as we are doing in Barnard Castle and Durham is a new extension of this collaboration and one that should be welcomed so that we can all continue to provide the best possible response to the communities that we serve.”
Pete Bell, TWSMRT team leader said: "The quad station is a fantastic opportunity for us to work more closely with the other emergency services. The profile of our callouts has changed over the years, not only do we attend incidents on the high fells but we also carry out searches and rescues in all parts of County Durham. The provision of this base in Durham, as well as the quad station in Barnard Castle, will allow us to respond much more efficiently to help the residents and visitors to all of the County."
The new rescue centre in Durham will take the name of Chris Scott. Chris joined Upper Teesdale and Weardale Fell Rescue Association when it was formed in 1968 and was a key member of Teesdale and Weardale Search and Mountain Rescue Team (which it became) in the 1990s until he died, on 10 July 2014, age 75.
Chris made an outstanding contribution to the team attending callouts and producing an efficient data logging system to record incidents (which was adopted by other mountain rescue teams). He became treasurer of the team in 1998 and together with his wife Kathleen, he organised and attended numerous fundraising events for the organisation.
Notes For Editor Teesdale
& Weardale Search & Mountain Rescue Team are affiliated to the "Mountain
Rescue - England and Wales". We provide a Search and Rescue service throughout
County Durham and beyond primarily for the Police but also for the other emergency
services. All Team members are volunteers and we rely on monies raised by ourselves
as a registered charity to run the Team. Further details regarding our latest
callouts and Team information can be found on our website www.twsmrt.org.uk