I welcome today’s announcement of the granting of National Lottery funding of €45,000 to the Dublin Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team towards the purchase of a 4-wheel drive ambulance and has stated that this shows a genuine commitment and appreciation on the Governments part to acknowledge the vital work that is being carried out on a daily basis by those who volunteer on Mountain Rescue teams to assist those in need.
The Dublin & Wicklow Mountain Rescue team is made up of 40 volunteers who come from all walks of life who purpose is to provide a professional mountain rescue service for those who find themselves in need in the wild and remote mountains of Wicklow, the gentler hills of Dublin, north county Dublin and as far as the Cooley mountains in Co. Louth
The challenging terrain in the Dublin & Wicklow mountains can prove difficult for the most experienced hillwalkers at any time of the year. The severe weather conditions experienced over the last few winters as well as unprecedented flooding have made us more aware of the fantastic and heroic efforts undertaken by the Rescue teams.
The Team works with a variety of agencies including the Gardai, the Irish Coast Guard, the Air Corps, the HSE ambulance service, the Civil Defence and the Glen of Imaal Mountain Rescue team in response to call-outs. The Irish Mountain Rescue Association is the umbrella organisation and it is estimated that there are between 400-500 voluntary members nationally providing what is essentially a 24-hour voluntary professional emergency service.
With the increased numbers taking off to the mountains for recreational purposes, the need to support the service has never been greater and this new vehicle will allow carrying a patient with a medic safely on a stretcher in off-road areas.
This is certainly a good cause and is so deserving of this tranche of funding from the Minister of Health under the National Lottery funding programme. The purchase a 4-wheel drive ambulance to assist with patient transport from areas of bad terrain will provide a valuable resource for the Irish Mountain Rescue Association.