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Mountain rescue volunteers thank police for communications access

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PCC Hardyal Dhindsa, Matt Livesey from Edale Mountain Rescue, and Karen Alton, Supervisor, Derbyshire Constabulary Force Operations Room, Contact Management and Resolution Centre

Mountain rescue teams in the Peak District have thanked Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa and the force for granting free access to a police radio mast to boost their communications capacity.

Members of the Edale Mountain Rescue Team approached Derbyshire Constabulary for permission to use the PCC-owned radio mast, located on Sir William Hill near Grindleford, to improve their existing communications. Last week the commissioner met members of the team when paid a visit to the site.

During the past 12 months, mountain rescue teams have been deployed to 289 incidents across the area – some of which required hundreds of personnel and volunteers. Without the support of the voluntarily-run teams, which sweep huge areas of the Derbyshire countryside during searches, the force would have faced significant additional costs.

Derbyshire Constabulary and Mr Dhindsa have agreed to waiver the costs of using the mobile mast to ensure Edale Mountain Rescue Team and other mountain rescue teams nearby can improve their communications infrastructure and continue to save lives. The move will provide clearer communications across a wider geographical area.

Commenting on the agreement, Mr Dhindsa said: “I’m incredibly grateful for the hard work, dedication and commitment of our mountain rescue teams and the sterling job they do to save lives and reunite vulnerable people with their loved-ones.

“Our rescue teams continue to be staffed entirely by volunteers who venture out at all hours of the night – even on Christmas Day. Their efforts relieve pressure on our scarce police resources and I’m delighted we are in a position to improve their service further by opening access to this mast.”

Steve Rowe, Edale Mountain Rescue’s Team Leader, said: “We are grateful that the PCC and the force have agreed to help Edale Mountain Rescue Team by allowing the use of the Sir William Hill police communications mast to site a digital repeater station. This means that communications for both the Edale team and the other mountain rescue teams in the area will be vastly improved.

“The digital network is an upgrade from the currently used VHF analogue system, which relies on line of sight and degrades over distance. The new digital network allows clear communication across the whole Peak District, which as a consequence will improve the service that teams can provide to the public.

“This support is a further example of the close working relationship between Derbyshire Constabulary, Edale Mountain Rescue Team and the Peak District Mountain Rescue Organisation in general.”

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Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair 01283 821012

Posted on Monday 19th August 2019
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