Simonside in the Northumberland national park. Photo: David Coxon CC-BY-2.0

Simonside in the Northumberland national park. Photo: David Coxon [CC-2.0]

Two rescue teams in the North-East have been helping ambulance staff hit by the arctic weather.

Members of the Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team and the North of Tyne Search and Rescue Team are using their vehicles and crews to get to patients and to recover stranded ambulances as the area is blanketed by deep snow. Volunteers from the teams have been working up to 14 hours a day.

A member of the Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team helps dig out a North East Ambulance Service rapid response car in Gateshead

A member of the Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team helps dig out a North East Ambulance Service rapid response car in Gateshead

The NNPMRT has been using its two Land Rover ambulances and its trained medical staff to help frontline ambulance crews as they battle to get to patients needing urgent help. The volunteers have also been on standby through the night as the arctic conditions – the most severe in decades – continue.

The Northumberland National Park Authority is warning walkers not to head for the hills while the winter conditions persist. A spokesperson for the authority said: “National park rangers urge visitors not to attempt to get into the hills while the cold weather remains as there is little access and no car parking or facilities.”

  • Coastguards also found themselves in inland action last night as they were called to a medical emergency in the North York Moors. A team from the Coastguard helped an ambulance crew evacuate a patient from Grosmont – 12km (7½ miles) inland. The ambulance had got stuck about 9.15pm at Egton, 3km (2 miles) short of its destination, in heavy snow.

The Coastguard rescue vehicle picked up the paramedics, took them to the patient’s home, then conveyed the patient and paramedics back to the ambulance. The team then escorted them to hospital in Whitby where the patient was treated for dehydration.

Alex Harrison, watch officer at Humber Coastguard said: “The weather conditions on the North Yorkshire moors are severe with deep snow drifts, very steep hills and extremely low temperatures.

“Our teams have been very happy to help our colleagues in the other emergency services in these extreme weather conditions with our mix of 4×4s, stretchers and first-aid experience normally and primarily deployed along our coastline.”

Mountain rescue teams throughout Britain have been in action, putting their skills and vehicles to use as many areas experience their heaviest snowfall since 1982.

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