As coronavirus travel restrictions in Ireland are lifted, Land Rover has revealed its role supporting the 500th operation carried out by the South Eastern Mountain Rescue Association (SEMRA). A specially prepared Land Rover Discovery helped the team reach and rescue casualties earlier this year.
The SEMRA crew has attended 100 rescues over the last three years and its pair of Land Rover models are trusted and highly versatile members of the team. The Discovery was chosen for its unique combination of capability, comfort and space while its intuitive controls make the premium SUV a confidence-inspiring choice for the large team of volunteers.
SEMRA provides the only search and rescue service for those in difficulty on the mountains of south east Ireland and covers one of the largest areas of any mountain rescue team in the UK and Ireland.
The volunteer service typically operates round the clock 365 days a year across the Galtee, Knockmealdown, Comeragh and Blackstairs mountains and is preparing for a resumption of activities following the coronavirus lockdown, which prevented people from visiting the region’s remotest spots.
Terry Brophy, Team Leader, SEMRA, said: “There is no other service available to go up the mountains, but we have the skills, the training and the vehicles to do it. The great thing about the Discovery is that we can fit a stretcher in the back with the medic seated alongside. Land Rovers are synonymous with mountain rescue in the UK and Ireland and there’s a reason for that – they are by far the best vehicles available.”
The Discovery has been lightly modified for operational duties and features a comprehensive list of emergency and first aid kit, powerful emergency lighting, a roof box, additional interior lighting and rear stowage nets.
In all other respects, the Discovery is a standard model – testament to the production vehicle’s breadth of capability. With the second and third-row seats folded, the vast 2,406-litre loadspace is able to accommodate a stretcher, while the intuitive Terrain Response system allows even novice drivers to optimise the vehicle for any conditions.
Liz Brown, SEMRA volunteer, said: “The weather can change in a heartbeat. What starts as a lovely day can turn into a whiteout in no time and that’s when people get into trouble. But when people see Land Rover with Mountain Rescue, they know they are two things they can count on.”
The Discovery is also available as a Commercial derivative without rear seats, providing a practical and hard-wearing 1,856-litre load area accessed by a powered tailgate and with underfloor stowage to maximise the space available. With a towing capacity up to a legal limit of 3.5 tonnes and traditional Land Rover all-terrain capability, the Discovery Commercial brings practicality, versatility and comfort to the commercial vehicle sector.
Land Rover has a rich rescue heritage and, last year, renewed its global humanitarian partnership with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). The relationship dates back to 1954, when the first specially adapted Land Rover entered service as a mobile dispensary in the Middle East.
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