A royal salute for Bowland rescuers

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A TEAM of emergency rescuers who have helped save numerous lives in the Bowland Fells over the past 50 years have been given a right royal “thank you” for their efforts.

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, paid a visit to the Barnacre-based training and vehicle centre of the Bowland Pennine Mountain Rescue team as part of a two day tour of Lancashire to help launch the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

The Barnacre base visit, described as “private” by BPMRT officials, was one of the highlights of a busy itinerary in county.

During the local visit he was escorted by the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, Lord Shuttleworth, who introduced him to VIPs, including the Mayor and Mayoress of Wyre, Coun David and Mrs Glenice Bannister, and Mr Tim Cox, BPMRT chairman.

In the training room, the Prince met David Matthews, the team’s casualty care officer, and inspected various first aid items and rescue kit. He also met Kevin Camplin, the team’s deputy leader and watched a demonstration showing how an injured climber is lowered off a crag face, and one on a climbing wall displaying how an uninjured person who is unable to move easily can be made safe from falling, rescued and lowered to the ground.

He also met Iain and Ann Nicholson with their two rescue and search dogs. Mij and Floss, who are part of the Search & Rescue Dog Association, which works with BMRT.

In the vehicle section the Prince met Andrew Binstead, the team’s controller, who demonstrated the mapping and communications systems used by the team, which involve the use of the internet and global positioning technology to show the exact location of a rescue team member on the team’s computer system.

During the tour of the building Philip O’Brien, team leader, presented several members who have completed 40 years of service. There were Tony Bond, Gwyneth McFadyen, Simon Harris, Peter Taylor, Philip Lund, Keith Gillies and David Simpson

Immediately prior to departure, the prince unveiled a commemorative plaque.

There was also a special introduction to Mrs Tilly Carefoot, managing director of Singleton’s Diary, of Longridge, who was invited to meet the Prince to mark her company’s involvement with the Local Firm Supporting Local Heroes programme.

Over the past four years Singleton’s Dairy has raised over £16,000 for the rescue team by donating five pence per 400g block of Bowland Butter it has sold.