Richard Warren, left, is joined at the presentation by MP Tim Farron, second from left, Kevin Walsh, third from right, and members of Langdale Ambleside, Duddon and Furness and Wasdale teams with demonstration model Max

Richard Warren, left, is joined at the presentation by MP Tim Farron, second from left, Kevin Walsh, third from right, and members of Langdale Ambleside, Duddon and Furness and Wasdale teams with demonstration model Max

A community organisation has provided lifesaving equipment to mountain rescue teams in the Lake District.

Rotarians handed over three new machines which perform automated resuscitation on casualties.

The machines will be used by the Wasdale, Kendal and Penrith Mountain Rescue Teams. The AutoPulse equipment gives automated cardio-pulmonary resuscitation to patients, which means the procedure can be continued while the person is being stretchered or winched into a helicopter while it would be impossible to carry out manually.

The units, along with a Propaq medical monitoring device provided for the Patterdale team, were part of £15,000-worth of equipment handed over by Kevin Walsh, former district governor for Rotary Cumbria and Lancashire at the Kendal team’s headquarters.

There are now seven AutoPulse units available to teams in the Lake District and two have already been used in rescue situations.

Richard Warren, chairman of the umbrella organisation the Lake District Mountain Rescue Association, said: “The provision of two AutoPulses and a lightweight Propaq monitor will mean that the teams can very quickly respond to critically ill casualties with equipment that can artificially apply and maintain CPR whilst a casualty is being carried down the mountain on a stretcher or being winched into a helicopter.

“This will make a big difference in our ability to increase a casualty’s chance of survival if their heart stops when severely hypothermic, or in the event of prolonged resuscitation where helicopter evacuation is impossible due to adverse weather conditions.”

Dr Stuart Allan, team doctor for Kendal Mountain Search and Rescue Team, said: “This is a tremendous step forward to help provide a Lake District-wide service provision for managing severely hypothermic patients in our mountain environment.

“This is yet another area where teams are increasingly working together and supporting each other in providing life-saving casualty care.”

Rotarian Kevin Walsh, said: “After many months of planning, fundraising and discussion it is good to see this life saving equipment being made ready to be used.

“Rotarians are keen to take action in our communities and this project is a great example of how we can respond to identified needs and make a real difference.

“While we would all prefer that this equipment were not needed, the more we can make available in our communities the more lives can be saved.”

The equipment was part of a package of donations which also included community public access defibrillators and funding for health fairs, which attracted match-funding from the Rotary Foundation, the movement’s international charity body, and donations from Rotary colleagues in Saitama, Japan; Bangalore, India, and south-east Scotland.

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