All personal protection equipment worn or held, such as helmets, harnesses, and life preservers, must be checked at suitable intervals.
Stretchers, ropes, slings, karabiners, pulleys, and all other equipment used in a rescue system must be checked before and after use. A six monthly more detailed inspection should also be undertaken on this equipment, and team members have been carrying out these inspections recently.
The manufacturers' recommendations on the lifespan of a product also means that equipment that has had little use or looks in good condition must be replaced on expiry of the lifespan from the date of manufacture. With ropes and slings the lifespan can vary, depending on the amount of use and wear. As an example, a rope in a sealed bag, never used, would be considered unsuitable after 10 years from date of manufacture. The more use such items undergo the shorter the lifespan.
Replacing equipment is an on-going process and the monies for this comes from donations and team members fund raising. The team receives a portion of the Scottish Government Grant and much of this goes towards insurance costs, vehicle maintenance, first aid supplies, and of course replacing kit.
The Order of St John Scotland have been supporters of Scottish Mountain Rescue for a considerable number of years, providing Land Rovers to teams and funding bases for several teams. We were delighted to share a pitch with them at the Border Union Show.