Guide to the various rescue vehicles employed by Galloway Mountain Rescue.
New in 2012, our Land Rover 110 Ambulance conversion replaced our trusty Land Rover of 17 years. This specially converted vehicle was built for us by renowned mountain rescue vehicle providers Lakeland Land Rovers. We took great care when specifying this vehicle to ensure its enhanced off road capabilities were fit for purpose for the rough Galloway terrain. Additionally, in response to increasingly unpredictable extreme weather conditions, we opted to fit a full snorkel to increase its wading depth in deeper water. These additional options proved their worth within months of the vehicle going into service.
In November 2012, the River Cree flooded higher than ever in living memory following a period of prolonged heavy rain and the vehicle was used to rescue stranded motorists and check isolated homes. Then in March 2013, during the 'Big Snow' it came into its own, supporting the police and ambulance service, by playing an important role in attending 17 incidents in 3 days of unprecedented weather conditions.
The Land Rover is our first response vehicle and is located at our Rescue Base in Newton Stewart.
This vehicle is a real wolf in sheep’s clothing. It looks like a conventional VW Transporter van, but the educated eye might spot the rugged off road tyres and the '4-Motion’ badging. These modifications ensure that our personnel carrier, with its 4x4 capability, can transport up to 7 rescuers to some surprisingly isolated locations in the Galloway heartland. It has been custom converted so it can be quickly configured into a stretcher carrying ambulance when the need arises as well as carrying the full range of essential rescue equipment.
The vehicle went into service in November 2014. It was funded part-in-part by a substantial private donor and by the St John Scotland, through their Scottish Mountain Rescue Support Project.
The VW is located at our secondary rescue post at Castle Douglas Fire Station.
A new and very welcome addition to our rescue fleet in December 2017. Our 'Incident Control Vehicle' has been a custom conversion of a new 4x4 Ford Transit van into a mobile incident control vehicle and Ambulance. With donation from members of the public and discounts from Ford Direct, this vehicle is filled with the latest technology, including digital mapping, satellite connection and wifi. It can also be quickly adapted to securely carry a Macinness stretcher, thereby creating greater flexibility to the team by allowing us to use it, if required, as an ambulance.
As well as our search and rescue operations, this vehicle can be called upon by Fire and Rescue during grass/forest fires, Ambulance service for major incidents, and Police during urban searches.
The Incident Control Vehicle is located at our Rescue Base in Newton Stewart.
Prior to 1995 we relied heavily upon team members using their personal vehicles to act as rescue vehicles. Luckily, former Team Leader Andy Shankland had a Land Rover (pictured left), which he was happy for us to use as a rescue vehicle. We also had access to the police Land Rover based at Dalry Police Station.
However, in 1995 with financial assistance from the National Lottery, we purchased our first dedicated vehicle, a Land Rover 110 Station Wagon. This vehicle was located at our former Mountain Rescue Post at Newton Stewart Police Station. It was equipped with a box trailer which doubled up as an equipment carrier and Control.
This wasn’t quite as comfortable nor as impressive as the fleet we now have, but this combination served us well for over 17 years. A succession of Team Leaders complained bitterly about how cold it could be managing a search from a trailer in the depths of winter. Oh how sorry the rest of the team felt for them!
In 2002 the team were donated a VW Caravelle Synchro 4x4 by St John Scotland. This personnel carrier was a very capable off road vehicle and served us well until it was replaced in 2014. It was located at our sub base in Castle Douglas.
New to our rescue fleet in May 2012 was our 'Incident Control Vehicle'. This Vauxhall Movano was custom converted into a rescue vehicle after completing its earlier life as a former Police Mobile Office. With a substantial donation from Sainsbury’s Supermarket, we modified the original configuration of the vehicle to create a control room area with separate rescue equipment carrier racks. It can also be quickly adapted to securely carry a Macinness stretcher, thereby creating greater flexibility to the team by allowing us to use it, if required, as an ambulance.
On the evening of Saturday 23rd February, GMRT were called out to 3 walkers who had become disorientated on Cairnsmore of Fleet. The missing people were located by Team Members and supported off the hill. They were cold and tired but otherwise fine.