Mourne Mountain Rescue Team (MMRT) – a volunteer-led organisation covering south Armagh and south Down – has expressed its “considerable concern” after another mountain rescue team in Northern Ireland re-branded.
North West Mountain Rescue recently hanged their name to that of Northern Ireland Mountain Rescue, which their Mourne counterparts say is an title which could be misconstrued as one that covers all of Northern Ireland – including the Mournes.
“This is not the case,” the MMRT team said in a public statement.
They added: “The Mourne Mountain Rescue Team are still the team that cover the Mournes, Croob and Gullion and we are still by far the busiest mountain rescue team in Northern Ireland and among the busiest in Ireland as a whole.
“The use of this name by another team causes further problems in terms of core functions including: The very real risk of confusion in tasking the relevant team in an emergency situation, leading to delays in response; A negative impact on fundraising to support our sustainability and capacity. Funds and funding may be diverted, particularly public donations, upon which we rely, but likewise any statutory or grant support.”
The organisation says some of the concerns outlined “have already been justified with several examples of confusion even at this early stage”.
“Hence, we feel it essential to assure you that there has been absolutely no change to rescue cover for the Mournes. The Mourne Mountain Rescue Team are still the primary rescue cover for the high Mournes and hinterlands including the hills of Croob and Gullion”.
Despite their concerns being raised with the the team concerned but to “no avail”.
MMRT have asked people to keep them and their name in mind and to be conscious of contacting and referring to the correct team if:
1. You do require Mountain Rescue in the Mournes and our wider area of cover.
2. You wish to show your support by way of donation or other means (fundraising for anything other than the ‘Mourne Mountain Rescue Team’ will not support them).
3. You wish to contact us on any other matter such as Membership, PR etc.