Charity digitises emergency callout system

The Welsh cave rescue service will be able to respond more efficiently thanks to a digital callout system and improved internet.

Chloe Green | 6th Jun 19
Image Credit: South and Mid Wales Cave Rescue Team

Volunteers from the South and Mid Wales Cave Rescue team will now be equipped to better perform rescue operations thanks to improved digital callout service.

Previously known as the West Brecon Cave Rescue Team, the South and Mid Wales Cave Rescue team responds to a range of incidents on behalf of three police forces and three fire brigades.

Prior to the improved internet service connection, the charity made the most out of traditional telephone and paper-based systems to manage their callouts and rescue missions. Now, more than 200 volunteers can be contacted and mobilised in just a few seconds.

Up to 2017, the charity has responded to 359 callouts, and helps rescue not only humans, but animals trapped in caves, quarries and disused mines.

An improved internet service will help volunteers reduce response times to those in need of rescuing. While seemingly rare, the success of rescue missions depends on the speed and efficiency of those above ground to reach those trapped in caves.

 

A speedy service

Dan Thorne, Chair of the South and Mid Wales Rescue team said: “South Wales is an attractive location for cavers with a passion for exploring as it has some of the deepest and longest caves in the UK. When we are called out we have to mobilise the right resources, to the right location in a timely manner.”

Some of our rescues last for days and within that sort of time period you need to plan ahead, swapping team members, sourcing food, checking the weather and dealing with our rescue partners. Having fast and reliable access to the internet will help in almost every aspect of planning for a rescue.

“With an ultrafast broadband connection, which wasn’t available to us until now, our surface controllers can now be based at our depot in Penwyllt and can be confident that the information they need is available in super fast speed.”

The new digital infrastructure was made possible by improving the existing infrastructure built by the Superfast Cyrmru programme, which was jointly funded by Openreach, Welsh Government, and the UK Government.

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