Team members strecher a casualty to an air ambulance. Photo: Edale MRT

Team members strecher a casualty to an air ambulance. Photo: Edale MRT

A Peak District rescue team averaged almost one callout per day during August.

Edale Mountain Rescue Team was called out 30 times last month, and dealt with four more alerts that didn’t prompt a full deployment of its volunteers.

The need to conform to coronavirus protection protocols added to the team’s workload, with about 600 volunteer hours spent dealing with calls for help.

A team spokesperson said: “Much about 2020 has been exceptional.

“From empty national parks back in April, to the ‘new normal’ of people having a staycation and exploring closer to home in the past couple of months.

“This has led to some of the busiest days in the Peak District that we have seen. Most days in August have been as busy as a normal bank holiday.

“Unfortunately, this has led to spike in call outs attended by Edale MRT.”

The increase in visitor numbers to the national park, coupled with the need to take measures against Covid-19, placed a greater burden on the team.

The spokesperson said: “The team has been extremely busy, as working with coronavirus restrictions means more kit maintenance and intensive cleaning and for team members, a physically more demanding environment with the warm weather and PPE.

“This has proved extremely challenging at times: managing multiple incidents across our area, trying to get vital equipment cleaned and dried ready for use, and for team members the time that they volunteer – approximately 600 volunteer hours given attending incidents in August.”

The coronavirus lockdown has also caused a financial drain on the team, a registered charity.

“This year we, along with many charities have seen a reduction in our donations – the loss of our usual face-to-face bank holiday weekend street collections through the spring along with not being unable to undertake talks and other fundraising activities has affected our revenue.

“This weekend we decided to restart our street collections, but in a socially distant way, with limited numbers. This was again affected by incidents which our vehicles and team members responded to.”

The high demand for the team’s help continued into September, with four callouts so far this month to injured and lost walkers on the Peak District moors and hills.

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