A YEAR OF extreme weather led to an increase in call-outs for the volunteers of the Dublin-Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team in 2013.
The 40-strong team, which also responds to emergency calls from the Cooley Mountains in Co Louth, carried out over 100 operations over the past 12 months.
The July heatwave attracted an influx of people to the uplands of the Garden County, according to team secretary Rita D’Arcy.
Along with usual call-outs responding to lost walkers, the volunteers also assisted a mountain biker with suspected spinal injures during the hot spell, along with a walker suffering with a fractured arm.
Heavy snowfalls in the early part of the year led to a large number of people becoming stuck in heavy snow and icy conditions in Wicklow’s mountain passes. The Sally Gap and Wicklow Gap were regular call-out spots for the team, as they rescued drivers who had become stuck on the roads. On one particularly wintry day, the team responded to three separate calls within one five hour period.
Team leader Chris England said the increase in activity had put an even greater strain on the organisation’s “already limited financial resources”.
He said that the priority in 2014 would be to find a new team base where they could train members “store our equipment, and call a home.”
The Dublin Mountain Rescue Team is registered as a charity, and is run on an entirely voluntary basis. It provides a 24-hour 999/112 emergency service.