824

Incidents since 01/01/1990

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Team Information

Cleveland MRT Communications

The basic communications system operated by the team is centred around VHF radios operating on designated rescue channels within the marine band. Each of the team's vehicles is equipped with these radios, and, in addition, we also have a number of hand portables for use by our search teams. These help provide communication between search parties and control whilst we are on the hill. In addition to our VHF radios the team also has the use of a small number of digital, encrypted radios, which, should the need arise, allows us to pass sensitive information away from prying ears. This basic communication system is highly flexible, allowing the team to communicate directly with the other agencies we are asked to work alongside; this includes other MR teams, SARDA search dog handlers, Police, Ambulance, and Coastguard, as well air support assets, including RAF Sea King, Police ASU, and Air Ambulances.

Whilst the team communications system has provided us with many years of reliable service, the tasks which Mountain Rescue teams are asked to fulfil are becoming ever more varied, and we therefore need to look towards new technology to help us fulfil those roles in an effective manner. To assist us in this, the recent base refurbishment has allowed us to set up a fully equipped control room, from which we can now direct and manage our call outs; we hope to soon add a radio repeater to this system, in order to further increase the range and coverage of our communications. This, along with the capabilities of our forward control vehicle, Viking One, will ensure we have effective communications right across our area of responsibility. Additionally, the team is now equipped with GPS enabled radios, which report highly accurate positions automatically transmitted for each of our search parties and Land Rover ambulances. Back at control, these position reports are received and overlaid on detailed digital mapping, giving our incident control managers real time updates on the position of each asset. This allows equipment, vehicles, and personnel to be directed where they are most needed in an efficient and rapid manner as the search or rescue develops. In an ideal world, we would like to equip each team member with one of these radios, unfortunately, however, available funding does not allow us to do this at the moment; perhaps, one day, this will be possible!