Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Unsung Heroes of our Emergency Services

Photo courtesy of Chris Tennant of Bolton MRT

I recently visited Bolton Mountain Rescue Team (MRT), a group of 40 volunteers who for the past 40 years have been helping to rescue people in trouble.

Bolton MRT territorial area of operation includes the Wigan Borough I attended MRT’s operational HQ at Ladybridge Hall on Chorley New Rd, Bolton on Friday, 4th November.

The visit was arranged by Bolton MP, David Crausby for the following purposes:

• To introduce the work of the Bolton Mountain Rescue Team, and the liaison at a local level with the Statutory Emergency Services.
• To thank local Members of Parliament for the recent Government announcement of national financial support for civilian mountain rescue teams in the UK, via an equipment grant to be administered by Mountain Rescue England and Wales.
• To highlight the work of Mountain Rescue in assisting the Statutory Emergency Services via partnership multi agency responses to emergencies within our local communities.
• An opportunity to display the new emergency vehicle livery Bolton MRT have adopted for all five Emergency vehicles.
• To discuss with the Members of Parliament present the ongoing issue of gaining VAT exemption for all equipment purchases made by mountain rescue teams.

Photo courtesy of Chris Tennant of Bolton MRT

I learned that the modern day MRT was much more than just a mountain rescue operation. From looking for missing persons in urban areas to assisting the Police, Fire and Ambulance services during the bad winters of the last two years, Bolton MRT is on hand to support and assist the statutory agencies 365 days a year.

They have done this heroic work without statutory funding, relying on donations and grants for 40 years, so I was pleased that national funding for equipment will relieve some of the financial pressures that they face. We should all be proud of our MRT - they really are the unsung heroes of our emergency services.

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