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Monday, 28 July 2014

Furness rescue team hopes for radio mast at windfarm

SAVING lives could become easier for a mountain rescue team if a new mast on the site of a windfarm is given the go-ahead.

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COMMUNICATION: Duddon and Furness Mountain Rescue Team is looking to expand its radio range to help save lives

RWE npower renewables has lodged a planning application for two new meteorological masts at its Kirkby Moor Windfarm.

The plan includes a proposal to upgrade the radio equipment used by Duddon and Furness Mountain Rescue Team, which uses the existing mast to help with its communication.

South Lakeland District Council’s planning committee will decide whether or not to grant the application when it meets on Wednesday.

The energy firm has helped the rescue team over the past 20 years by placing radio antennas on the existing met mast on the wind farm site.

That has enabled the team to communicate during when it is called out on rescues, but the existing mast is coming towards the end of its life – and so is the team’s radio equipment.

Chris Gainey, of RWE npower renewables, said: “If the planning application is approved, the radio equipment will be replaced with a more modern system.

“We are keen to work with the local community and happy to support the mountain rescue team by covering these costs. Additionally, as the new antennas will be attached to one of the new taller masts. It will lead to an important increase in the communication range of the equipment.

“This improved signal range will help Duddon and Furness and neighbouring mountain rescue teams communicate more efficiently when carrying out rescues and training exercises, making it safer for local people and tourists alike.

“We worked closely with the mountain rescue team to incorporate their requirements into the design of the new mast before we submitted our application.”

Duncan Van Mill, radio officer for Duddon and Furness Mountain Rescue Team, said: “If the application is approved, it would significantly improve our ability to communicate and therefore our efficiency on searches and rescues.”

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