The Tayside Mountain Rescue team has further strengthened its rapid response service this winter after receiving a generous donation of £10,000 from The Enchanted Forest Community Trust last year.

A custom-built Ford Ranger has since been purchased by the charity just in time for the winter months thanks to the significant cash boost. The new all-terrain emergency vehicle, which replaces a nine-year-old Land Rover, will be stationed at the Aberfeldy base and used by the team for emergency call outs.

A portion of the money has also be put towards a major Tayside Mountain Rescue project which seeks to extend and develop a training base in Aberfeldy. With around 68% of all annual call outs across Perth and Kinross coming from North Perthshire alone, the idea is to create a training hub for additional emergency responder volunteers, specifically from this area.

Tayside Mountain Rescue is a group of around 50 volunteers with a plethora of specialist outdoor skills including remote medical expertise, technical rigging, swift water rescue and search management.
The team, which is the fourth busiest out of the 28 located across Scotland, operates in all weather, all terrain and at all hours.

Kevin Linklater, President of Tayside Mountain Rescue, said: “This state of the art vehicle is great news for our team and the local residents. It’s been kitted out to provide everything we need to help people who get into difficulty while they’re out enjoying the Tayside countryside. It’s a vast improvement on the old vehicle – more economical to run, greener and with the very latest technology.”

Offering space onboard for five of the volunteers, the Ford Ranger comes fully equipped with blankets, first aid kits, a defibrillator, a fridge with refreshments, lighting for night-time, power packs for charging phones and various ropes and related climbing equipment to aid rescues.

Kevin continued: “Developing an outpost for training in Aberfeldy is one of our key objectives as it will offer training opportunities to other emergency responder volunteers and essentially build a bigger and stronger team. Donations like the one from The Enchanted Forest Community Trust and other support from our community take us a step closer to our goals. As a charity which relies 100% on volunteers, funding is imperative to allow us to maintain our life saving service – and protect its future for years to come.”

The Enchanted Forest Community Trust made its donation after the rescue team provided safety support to the show’s technicians as they beamed a stunning laser light into the night sky above Pitlochry over the first weekend in October last year – allowing hundreds of residents to watch from the safety of their own gardens.

Lesley Williamson, Chair of The Enchanted Forest, added: “We’re very proud to hear that our donation has assisted the rescue team to purchase a much-needed new vehicle, as well as edge a little closer to their ambition of opening a training base in Aberfeldy. With so many of their fundraising events cancelled due to Covid 19 over the last 18 months, it’s certainly been a challenging time. It is even more important that the community gets behind them so they can continue to do their fantastic work.”

For more information about the latest work of the Tayside Mountain Rescue visit www.taysidemrt.org