Posted on 20th May 2014
(L-R) High Sheriff David Coleman, Chief Constable Mick Creedon, Ken Blakeman and Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Charles.
Derbyshire’s Chief Constable and Police and Crime Commissioner have donated £5,000 to aid the county’s mountain rescue teams.
The money was donated to mark Peak District Mountain Rescue Organisation’s 50th anniversary this year.
The organisation is split into seven teams, all of which are run entirely by volunteers who aid police in a variety of emergencies.
These can range from searching for missing people to rescuing walkers stranded or injured in remote parts of Derbyshire.
Chief Constable Mick Creedon and Alan Charles, the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner, handed a cheque to PDMRO president and Derbyshire High Sheriff David Coleman, and the organisation’s chairman, Ken Blakeman.
The organisation, which relies solely on donations to continue running, will use the £5,000 - donated from police funds - to cover a range of purposes including training costs, kit and vehicle maintenance.
Mr Creedon said: “I cannot overstate the contribution that our mountain rescue teams make to public safety and by extension policing in Derbyshire.
“They assist in the most trying of circumstances, in any weather at any hour of the day or night 365 days a year. Lives are saved on a regular basis by the Peak District’s entirely voluntary mountain rescue teams.
“I cannot praise their dedication or professionalism highly enough.”
The Peak District Mountain Rescue Organisation is split into seven teams – Buxton, Derby, Edale, Glossop, Kinder, Oldham and Woodhead. It also includes the Search and Rescue Dog Association for the Peak District.
In 2013 alone, the teams spent a total of more than 14,700 hours on rescue operations in the Peak District, which amounted to over 300 individual call-outs.
Commissioner Alan Charles said: “The mountain rescue team does a wonderful job, not just on the wilder hills of Derbyshire but also, for example, when they help the police in searches for missing persons, which saves us valuable resources and funding.
“Members of the team donate their time freely and often risk hazardous conditions to help other people.
“I don’t think I am alone in my gratitude for their work - after 50 years of service there are a lot of people who have learnt, first-hand and with great relief, that the mountain rescue team is, like the police, a 24/7 emergency service. I’m delighted to be able to help them with this donation.”
Mountain rescue volunteer and organisation chairman Ken Blakeman said: “It is an extremely valuable donation and a tremendously generous one.
“We receive no funding at all but we are also not strictly a fund-raising organisation, and so donations of this kind really are what keep us going.
“Even though nobody gets paid, we still have costs such as training and equipment hire so that we can do our job as effectively as possible.
“We are very grateful for this donation and the money will go a long way to helping us continue our work.”
David Coleman, who is the PDMRO’s president and Derbyshire’s High Sheriff, added: “It is fantastic that the Chief Constable and the commissioner have donated this money.
“It recognises the fantastic service and support that the mountain rescue teams have been providing for 50 years.”
Members of the public can donate to Peak District Mountain Rescue Organisation by visiting www.pdmro.org.uk and clicking ‘Funding’.