The Dundonnell team has taken its training online. Photo: Dundonnell MRT

The Dundonnell team has taken its training online. Photo: Dundonnell MRT

A Scottish rescue team has held its first online training session.

Dundonnell Mountain Rescue Team, in common with other volunteer teams, normally hold a monthly meeting to hone members’ skills.

But the coronavirus lockdown has prevented a traditional training exercise, so the team resorted to a virtual workshop.

Team leader Iain Nesbitt said: “Like other mountain rescue teams, Dundonnell team members undertake at least one monthly training exercise.

“Ordinarily, these would mostly take place outdoors in the mountain environment but obviously we are having to observe current advice regarding social distancing and travel restrictions.

“However, on Sunday our training officers organised our first ever online training session and it was very successful. Team members took part in a video conferencing session which took the form of a workshop looking at how we respond to various scenarios of the type that we deal with every year.

“It’s also a good way of keeping team members in touch and we will be using it again as long as current restrictions remain in place.”

The team also repeated appeals made elsewhere to walkers and other outdoor enthusiasts not to take to the hills during the Covid-19 crisis, putting themselves and rescuers at risk.

Mr Nesbitt said: “While Dundonnell MRT members remain ready to respond to urgent incidents in the outdoors, I would like to urge the public to follow government advice about physical exercise.

“Take your daily exercise locally. Don’t travel to the mountains and by doing so you will help to avoid rescue services being called out.

“Since the current lockdown began, Scottish mountain rescue teams have had no callouts. I would very much like to keep it that way in order that our own volunteers can stay safe at home for the duration of this health crisis.”

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