The new vehicle in use on Ingleborough. Photo: CRO

The new vehicle in use on Ingleborough. Photo: CRO

A rescue team in the Yorkshire Dales has invested in a small off-road vehicle to reach casualties on the fells.

The Cave Rescue Organisation was able to obtain a utility terrain vehicle thanks to a legacy left to the team.

The decision to buy the Honda Pioneer was prompted by the end of production of the 4×4 used extensively by mountain rescue teams throughout the UK.

A team spokesperson said: “The Cave Rescue Organisation’s three white Land Rovers are an all-too-familiar sight around the Three Peaks and Malhamdale, going mainly to the aid of injured or lost walkers. But the end of production of the iconic model of Land Rover Defender has left CRO – and the majority of voluntary rescue teams in the UK – with some difficult decisions.

“CRO’s answer, in the short term at least, is a Honda Pioneer, four-seater UTV, sometimes known as a ‘side-by-side ATV’, supplied by Paxtons of Bentham.

“The purchase has been made possible by a very generous legacy, for which CRO members are very grateful.

“In a year’s time, the vehicle fleet will be reviewed and a decision made as to whether the oldest Land Rover should be rebuilt or replaced by something with a lesser off-road capability.”

Andy Plimmer, CRO’s training officer and a qualified 4×4 driving instructor, said: “CRO members are acutely aware of the potential for causing damage to sensitive routes, particularly with a heavily-loaded 4×4, so the Pioneer should be the ideal vehicle for taking a small team rapidly onto the fell and giving patients more immediate care.”

He thanked Colin Ellison and Paxton’s for their patience and help in identifying the right road-legal vehicle for CRO’s purposes.

Mr Plimmer also thanked the Coniston Off-Road Centre team at Coniston Hall for providing driver training.

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