The two Wicklow-based mountain rescue teams, Dublin Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team (DWMRT) and Glen of Imaal Mountain rescue team (GOIMRT) responded to four callouts in the Wicklow Mountains over two days in early July. Three callouts involved injuries and the fourth involved lost walkers.
The summer months are traditionally a busy time for the mountain rescue teams who responded to a record 117 calls in 2020. This trend looks to continue in 2021 with 54 callouts so far this year.
DWMRT Team Leader Maurice Brady says that while the teams are on call 24/7, 365 days a year and respond as quickly as possible, it is important to remember that it may take time for help to arrive to an injured person. With that in mind, he had this advice for walkers heading into the hills.
“An injured person can get very cold, very quickly while waiting for us to arrive. It’s vital walkers carry a rain jacket, waterproof trousers, some extra warm layers and some food and water. Try to avoid cotton clothing as it retains no warmth when it’s damp. Wear footwear with good ankle support and grip – most runners or trainers aren’t suitable for hilly terrain.”
Mr Brady also stressed the importance of checking the forecast before heading for the hills but pointed out that it will usually be colder and more windy on the mountain with the potential for rain when none is forecast.
Gerry Condon, DWMRT Public Relations Officer, reminded walkers to park considerately.
“Please don’t block gateways, barriers or narrow lanes when parking. It may take mountain rescue personnel longer to reach a casualty if we can’t access these.”