Friday, August 20, 2021

Olivia Kelleher

Kerry Mountain Rescue Team (KMRT) has asked the public to “get serious” about safety as they have been inundated with calls from groups and individuals seeking assistance this month.

The team received 16 calls this month as of last Monday, with some people experiencing potentially life-changing injuries.

“KMRT subsequently responded to three more call-outs – two of which were high on Carrauntoohil. Both cases involved head and other serious injury. Long, exhausting stretcher carries were necessary,” the group said.

So far in August, they have dealt with two head injuries, two dislocated shoulders, one broken shoulder, one broken ribs, two broken pelvises, two broken legs, six broken ankles and two knee injuries.

They stress that being called on successive days places a huge strain on volunteers who are seriously committed to what they do.

“Volunteers who must juggle day jobs and family commitments. Volunteers who are increasingly exhausted and worn down by sequential call-outs. Volunteers who are loath to judge the sequential errors that underlay serious accidents. Carrauntoohil is not a ‘walk in the park; but is frequently approached as such – with serious consequences.”

‘Get serious’

“Time to get serious, time to wear proper boots (not runners!), time to consult the weather forecast in advance. Time to research your intended route and the difficulties involved. Time to carry a map and to know how to use it. Time to have windproof waterproof layers. Time to decide on the fitness of all in your group. Time to decide when to turn for home,” KMRT said.

They added hikes sometimes go wrong for the best prepared, but the ill-prepared will always disproportionately feature in rescue calls.

“Remember when it goes wrong, you will wait possibly two hours before assistance reaches you. Add possibly three hours or more for stretcher evacuation.

“KMRT fully understand that accidents can happen to anyone on the hills at any time regardless of experience and competence and will respond. If your party does get into difficulty do not hesitate to call 999 or 112 and ask for mountain rescue,” they added.

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