Heroes of the hills

Dublin & Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team (DWMRT) is a volunteer rescue service, available 24 hours per day, every day, to respond to emergencies in upland areas of Dublin, Wicklow, and Louth. DWMRT’s mission is to provide a professional-standard, voluntary, emergency rescue service. The team comprises 60 highly trained, motivated, volunteer mountain rescuers, coming from all walks of life, and united by a common love of the outdoors. The team has been based in Roundwood, Co Wicklow, since its foundation in 1984.

DWMRT works on behalf of An Garda Síochána to provide an emergency search and rescue response in upland and remote parts of our operational area. We are one of eleven teams that make up Mountain Rescue Ireland, and work all over the island of Ireland with our colleague teams when requested. The team also works closely with the National Ambulance Service, the Irish Coast Guard, the Irish Defence Forces, Dublin Fire Brigade, Wicklow Fire Service, Civil Defence, and other voluntary emergency services.

Mountain rescue began with an ethos of “mountaineers helping other mountaineers in difficulty”. That ethos still drives us, but our role has expanded a little. Today, our main role still involves helping people who are lost or injured in the hills, but it also involves searching for missing persons, severe weather response, and body recovery from remote locations. To perform these duties safely, our team members are trained in areas such as low-visibility navigation, search skills, search management, communications, pre-hospital emergency medicine, helicopter operations, crag and rope rescue, and swift water rescue.

DWMRT is part-funded by the Irish government, but the team’s operational costs far exceed the government funding we receive. The rest of our operational costs are met by donations, grants, and fundraising events. Currently, DWMRT organise three large-scale fundraising events each year: the Art O’Neill Challenge, Walk the Line, and Run the Line. The team is always grateful for any financial support we receive, without that support we could not do what we do.

Earlier this year, Ross Deveraux was rescued by these amazing volunteers. He got lost in the woods while out with a walking group. He was found before nightfall which avoided additional stress and a cold night in the woods.

His mum, Fiona was so relieved and grateful she wanted to support these heroes. Due to Covid -19, the “walk the line” hiking fundraiser was cancelled. Mountain rescue rely heavily on this fundraiser, so Fiona came up with a socially distancing alternative, a book to celebrate the mountains and its volunteer rescuers. And so “Mountain Memoirs” was born.

Ripplezoo are delighted to support Fiona in this worthwhile cause. We are looking for submissions from everyone who loves walking the hills and mountains of Ireland. These submissions can be in the form of an essay, anecdote, original short story, poem, photograph, painting or sketch, anything inspired by your time in the hills.

The book will have a significant chapter explaining the essential life saving work that volunteer rescuers do. With very little government funding, the book will raise awareness as well as much needed funds for DWMRT

Dublin & Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team (DWMRT) is a volunteer rescue service, available 24 hours per day, every day, to respond to emergencies in upland areas of Dublin, Wicklow & Louth. Their amazing job is to help people who are lost or injury in the hills. Please help these wonderful volunteers in any way you can…

To minimise the cost of producing the book, we are also looking for volunteer skills in book design, publishing and PR. We hope to have the book available in November in time for Christmas, when the book will make a lovely gift for Irish hill walkers.

Please help these wonderful volunteers in any way you can. For those of us who love hill walking, it is wonderful to know these heroes are in the background, waiting to help us should we ever need them.

Thank you DWMRT for your selfless & courageous work.

Peace Over War