Woodhead Mountain Rescue Team (MRT) was formed in the early ’70s by the amalgamation of the Huddersfield Scout MRT, Stocksbridge Barugh Rovers and Sheffield Scout MRT that were formed after the 1964 Four Inns fatalities. The team primarily covers the North Eastern area of the Peak District, but can be called to assist in any area of the Peak National Park – especially during a major incident / search.
Two of the teams founder members are still active engaging in support roles within the team. The team is a member of the Peak District Mountain Rescue Organisation (P.D.M.R.O.).
P.D.M.R.O. was formed in 1964 following the death during the bad winter of 1963 of two climbers in an avalanche in Wilderness Gully, Chew Valley, and a multiple fatal accident during the 1964 Four Inns Walk. Prior to then there were few mountain rescue teams in the Peak District. These were uncoordinated and inadequately equipped.
The two tragedies in 1964 demonstrated the need for coordination of the few teams that did exist and the need to establish others. The P.D.M.R.O. was established to co-ordinate the activities of all the Mountain Rescue Teams in the Peak District and thus assist the Police with all mountain rescue incidents.
As well as Woodhead MRT the P.D.M.R.O. consists of six other civilian mountain rescue teams, Buxton, Derby, Edale, Glossop, Kinder, Oldham, as well as the Peak District Area of the Search and Rescue Dog Association (England), and the Derbyshire Cave Rescue Organisation.
Each civilian team is a self-contained unit with its own equipment, supplies, vehicles and communications. All members are trained in all aspects of first aid, casualty care and can affect rescue from remote moorland, cliffs or crashed aircraft. Every team member wears and/or carries personal survival equipment and can remain operational, unsupported for more than 12 hours. Teams have about 40 to 50 members.
The Peak District Mountain Rescue Organisation is the umbrella body for Mountain Rescue in the Peak District.
The prime objectives of the P.D.M.R.O. are to save life and alleviate distress, primarily in Upland and Mountain areas. In addition the organisation:
- Supports member teams in their mountain rescue activities.
- Coordinates all rescue incidents. Encourages & develops good practice in Mountain Rescue.
- Assists in the recovery of animals from locations where mountain rescue skills are needed.
- Represents the member teams’ interests to other bodies.
- Encourages the transfer of skills and knowledge to young people and other community groups.
‘So Much More Than Mountains’
Woodhead Mountain Rescue Team provides an essential service not only to walkers and climbers but also to the local community. Their prime role is to provide a Search & Rescue service in upland or mountainous areas. However, the Team is increasingly called upon to undertake searches for missing people in lowland areas or as support during civil contingencies such as the floods in 2007, The crash of Pan Am Flight 103 and the bad winter of 2009 /10.