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The Dublin & Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team has its origins in the An Oige MRT, which was formed during the early 1960’s and was one of the earliest MRT’s in Ireland along with Kerry MRT, Tramore SCRT and Mourne MRT. As the An Oige Team, the members were involved in numerous rescues in the Wicklow Mountains from the 60’s to the early 80’s. A core group of the current DWMRT members, who were active members in the An Oige Team have been providing a rescue service in the Wicklow and surrounding Mountains for almost 40 years.
The Dublin & Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team is an entirely voluntarily operated 112 / 999 service available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. While our team’s main area of operation is in the Dublin and Wicklow mountains, we also cover as far as the Cooley Mountains in Co. Louth. On top of this, the team will also travel to other parts of the country when requested, to back up other Mountain Rescue Teams and the Gardai.
Our purpose is to provide a professional mountain rescue service for those who find themselves in need. This may include, Mountain or Crag accidents or lost /overdue / missing persons. In the last number of years the team responded to over 50 “call-outs” on average per annum. This does not include the behind the scenes work of training and committee meetings, which takes a huge deal of time and energy, and when we’re not doing this, we’re working to raise funds to stay operational.
The Dublin & Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team is made up of 40 volunteer members whose job is to lend a helping hand. Team members come from all walks of life e.g. outdoor instructors, doctors, ambulance personnel, engineers and farmers to name a few. They all have one thing in common and that is their selfless desire to help others in need. The team has two vehicles, our transit style vehicle, which we regard as our operations base vehicle, our Land-rover which is our first response technical vehicle. Each vehicle is fully equipped with all the life saving equipment needed for their roles in a rescue operation.
This year 2009 the Dublin & Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team celebrates its Silver Jubilee, below is a list of the teams key activities over the 25 years:
1984: Team members leave the An Oige Team and reform as the Dublin & Wicklow MRT.
1985: First team vehicle MR1 obtained, a second hand red Bedford van.
1986: Mountain Rescue becomes an official 112 / 999 service.
1987: First "Autolock" rescue techniques used in Ireland.
1988: Team train with the Irish Air Corps new Dauphin 2 Helicopter.
1989: Team members travel to UK for first Search Management course outside of the US.
1990: Team holds its first winter mountain rescue skills course in Glenmore lodge, Scotland.
1991: MR 1 is replaced with a secondhand Ford Transit.
1992: Team completes first external assessment.
1993: 3 team members successfully complete first ever EMT course in Ireland.
1994: Team represent Ireland at an "invitation only" MR exchange in the Ukraine & Crimea.
1995: MR 2 arrives - team take ownership of its new 4 wheel drive Landrover Defender.
1996: Team mebers take part in first Wilderness EMT course.
1997: Team films for RTE series "Ear to the Ground".
1998: Motorola Ireland sponsor the team with handheld radios and pagers.
1999: MR1 - team takes ownership of its first new operations vehicle thanks to the National Lottery.
2000: Team takes part in lotto TV advert.
2001:Team training grounded due to Foot & Mouth outbreak.
2002: Major exercise staged in Dalkey Quarry with HSE and St Vincents University Hospital Personnel.
2003: Team members attend Emergency Care for Mountain Rescue (ECMR) Course in North Wales.
2004: Teams first response vehicle upgraded to a new Landrover 110 station wagon.
2005: Team members take part in outdoor show in the RDS to raise the profile of Mountain Rescue.
2006: Team recieves award from the Minister of State for Transport for "Meritorious Service"
2007: DWMRT introduces MRMap - GPS live asset tracking software to the IMRA Teams.
2008: 14 team members travel to bulgaria for Winter Mountain Rescue training course.
Mountain Rescue in Ireland is a completely free service for those who find themselves in need, but as you can appreciate it costs a lot of money to run the team. It costs approximately €50,000 p.a. to supply necessary medical, technical and communication equipment, provide training and cover the costs of maintaining our vehicles etc. We receive a small grant from the government towards insurance, vehicle maintenance and communications costs, but it’s a long way short of paying the bills. The substantial annual shortfall is met through fundraising activities and the support of our family and friends in the communities we serve.
If you’d like to help out with fundraising or sponsorship, see our ‘contact the team’ page to speak with someone who can direct you in the right direction.