A LIFESAVING rescue team is fundraising for a new incident command vehicle, urgently needed to replace its ageing and unreliable equipment.

Over 52 years Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team has developed from 12 local people to a large pool of dedicated volunteer members capable of reacting at short notice across Swaledale and Wensleydale. In 1999, it moved to its current purpose-built rescue headquarters at Catterick Garrison.

The team is entirely volunteer-run, and relies on financial assistance to maintain and equip the complex and professionally-run operation.

Now it is fundraising for a new incident command vehicle, a specially converted vehicle to operate alongside the existing four wheel drive ambulance fleet.

An incident command vehicle would be particularly useful on long search and rescue operations, or a flooding event, which can go on for several days, during which the incident controllers have to safely manage, and look after, many teams of rescuers operating over a wide geographical area in extremely challenging conditions.

A spokesman said: “ The team is on-call to use their unique skills, techniques and equipment to rescue injured members of the public, assist the police with missing person searches and support the ambulance service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

“We need to raise £80,000 to cover the purchase and conversion costs of the new vehicle, via donations from the public. Please help us out with a donation using our CrowdFunder page.”

Further information is available on the Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team website. Or contact them at: appeal@swaledalemrt.org.uk.