Kerry Mountain Rescue Team Celebrates 50 Years.
This year the KMRT is celebrating its 50th year since it was founded in 1966 following
two climbing fatalities on the MacGillacuddy Reeks.
Since then it has come to the assistance of numerous climbers and walkers in distress.
KMRT visits the Áras
Recently Kerry Mountain Rescue Team were honoured to have been invited to the recent Presidential garden party which was organised to celebrate the work of Search and Rescue Services throughout Ireland.
Kerry Mountain Rescue Team Open Day
The KMRT Open Day takes place from 2.00pm t0 4.00pm on Saturday October 22nd, 2016
on the grounds of Killarney Garden Station, Killarney.
Killarney Garda station is located on New Road, top of High street, take the first left after lights.
All are welcome.
History of the KMRT
Formed in 1966 following the deaths of two climbers, the 35-strong group is made up entirely voluntary members who come from all walks of life, all active and accomplished walkers and mountaineers in their own right.
The team’s area of operation covers the entire southwest of the country – principally the Beara, Iveragh and Dingle peninsulas – and boasts 15 of Ireland’s 20 highest
Assistant PRO with Kerry Mountain Rescue, Damien Courtney, explained that members – all of whom have full time jobs – are extremely dedicated individuals, regularly training in a complete range of disciplines such as casualty care, technical rope work, helicopter winching, search management, navigation and radio communication.
All team members are qualified to Advanced Rescue Emergency Care (REC) first aid level and first aid training is undertaken on a regular basis to ensure that the skills of each team member are continually maintained and the most up-to-date developments in emergency medicine are utilised.
Damien explained that he and his team are called into action between 30 and 40 times a year, with the majority of calls arising from falls in the mountains.
“The most common situation we deal with is treating injuries resulting from falls, primarily neck, back or lower leg injuries, and of course there are some serious cases,” he said.
“Then you have call outs from people who aren’t necessarily injured but have become lost or stuck on a mountain. For example, you have people who are coming down a mountain and veer off the path in fog and get lost. Those two scenarios would make up two thirds of our call outs.”
They are also called upon to treat medical emergencies, such as when walkers suffer stroke or heart attack while on the mountain.
Keeping the Kerry Mountain Rescue Team up and running doesn’t come cheap – operating costs reach €70,000 per year – yet only one third of these expenses are funded by the State. The rest, Damien explained, has to be raised through private donations and the team’s own fundraising.
Thankfully, the Kerry public have always been a great support to the team, he said.