BRENTWOOD, England – The versatility of Ford’s all-wheel-drive Transit Minibus is set to make life easier for the volunteers of the Buxton Mountain Rescue Team – and help for the many lost and injured people they assist every year in England's Peak District.
The team’s new Transit, which was handed over by supplying dealer GK Group Chesterfield, will enable the rescuers to get search and rescue personnel closer to where they are required, even in the depths of winter.
“A typical mountain search or rescue can involve quite a number of team members and an enormous amount of kit,” said deputy team leader Malc Needham. “Our old Transit was a lifeline, but this new one is all-wheel-drive and that will be a huge help to us in bad weather, as we experienced in the Peak District last winter.”
Buxton Mountain Rescue Team was called out 116 times last year, typically to bring assistance to walkers who have slipped and twisted or broken an ankle, to help locate missing walkers or tend to mountain-bikers or hang-gliders who have been injured, usually in areas of the National Park which a regular ambulance could not reach.
Malc said: "It took a lot of tin-rattling to raise the money to buy the new minibus. We have been fund-raising like mad, even though Ford and GK Group have given us an excellent deal.
"The Transit Minibus began life as a 15-seater with a 140PS 2.4 TDCi engine, but has had a row of seats removed to facilitate the stowage of equipment and to allow a stretcher case to be carried if necessary. Further conversion work involved the fitment of blue lights and sirens, radio equipment and other emergency-service gear.
Shaun Wood, GK Group’s commercial sales manager, said of the new Transit: “It has been a delight to supply such an out-of-the-ordinary vehicle to the team. The minibus looks great finished in silver and with all the equipment it carries, will be a reassuring presence in the Peak District for years to come. It goes to show that Ford can deliver a vehicle to pretty much any specification that a customer requires.”
The Buxton Transit will become a familiar sight at shows and events in the area throughout the summer, where team members will be busy fund raising to help find the team’s annual budget of £30,000.
Further details of the team’s work, which is funded entirely by donation, can be found at www.buxtonmountainrescue.org.uk