Flood rescues prompted Northants search and rescue team to raise £ 50,000 for new vehicle
A team of specialist volunteers who carry out dozens of rescues in Northamptonshire each year have raised £ 50,000 in just four months to buy a new support vehicle.
Northants Search and Rescue members have secured funding for a new bespoke technical rescue vehicle that they believe will expand their far-reaching capabilities.
Last year’s devastating flooding in the county prompted the team to speed up plans for a new vehicle.
The team’s whitewater rescue team and trained members of the bank side having spent several days over the past year helping trapped and besieged residents, reinforced their commitment to raising enough money. for the new vehicle, which had been put on hold due to the impact of Covid19 on fundraising. .
Based on a 2021 Mercedes Sprinter All Wheel Drive, the van has been modified to carry four passengers and a driver, to provide 240V power on board and to carry fast water and technical rescue equipment. It will also be able to transport patients on a stretcher.
The group was successful in securing grants including £ 20,000 from the Peoples Postcode Lottery, £ 15,000 from the David Laing Foundation, £ 8,727 from the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, £ 7,270 from the National Lottery and £ 1,000 from the Maud Elkinton Trust, for a total of £ 51,542.
Mercedes Benz commercial vehicles also offered a big discount on their latest top model.
An NSAR spokesperson said: “During this year the team has found itself increasingly called upon to deal with water-related incidents.
“These included a dog walker who returned late from a riverside walk and sadly died in the water, supporting our sister teams in Warwickshire with a canal search, and more specifically saving four people from the Nene River whose canoe had overturned.
“As a result, the team invested more in their technical rescue equipment, with additional PPE, throwing lines and reach poles.
“And over the coming winter, we will be training with Rescue3 so that several more volunteers are trained in Swiftwater Rescue.
“This new vehicle will allow them to get closer to the water’s edge, with the right equipment and at the right time, all of which are essential to helping save lives when every second counts.
“Covid19 has had a huge impact on us from a funding standpoint, but we have never lost sight of the need for this new technical rescue vehicle.
“We have seen the devastating speed with which water can impact lives and how quick action can help save property and lives.
“We also wanted to make sure that this brand new vehicle will be fit for purpose and built to last. We have to be sure of reliability and durability, hence the choice of this Mercedes and the layout that we have.
“We also want to thank all of the supporters and trusts who have supported us, recognizing the positive impact we have been able to bring to the community we come from and serve.”
Northamptonshire Search & Rescue (NSAR) was established in 2013 to provide professional volunteer search and rescue support to local emergency services. The team operates under the governance of Lowland Rescue, the lesser-known sister of Mountain Rescue.
Their volunteers who are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to support the police in the search for missing and vulnerable people, including children and patients with dementia.