Formed in 1965 and based in Abergavenny since 2001, Longtown Mountain Rescue Team is an emergency service staffed entirely by volunteers from all walks of life who freely give up their time. We work in conjunction with the police and other agencies, to locate and recover lost or injured individuals from remote places in the Black Mountains and surrounding area. Although our main function and training is geared towards mountain rescue, we can be called upon to assist the police in searching for missing young or vulnerable individuals, in urban and rural areas where available police resources are limited and the situation is urgent. The team has an operational membership of 40 to provide a service which is available 24 hours a day 365 days of the year. Providing a professional and effective service, always in a state of readiness to deploy at a moments notice, requires each member to train on a regular basis to maintain the necessary skill levels in first aid and search and rescue techniques. The team receives no official funding and it is through the hard work of the team members that the funds are raised to maintain the service.
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To become a member of Longtown Mountain Rescue Team you must first complete an application form and skills list which are available from the Team Membership Secretary. Although the skills list covers all aspects of mountain rescue, it is designed to give the team an idea of your current level of knowledge, we do not expect you to be proficient in all subjects. As long as you have a basic mountaineering knowledge and you are able to commit yourself to attend regular training sessions the team will teach you the other rescue skills.
If accepted you will be offered prospective membership of the team and you will be allocated a full team member as a "buddy". The "buddy" will be responsible for making sure that your training needs and concerns are brought to the attention of the training officer and will coordinate the implementation of your training. This will involve attending the team training sessions which are held three times a month.
Once you have demonstrated, to the satisfaction of the team leader, you are "mountain safe" you will then be eligible to become a probationary member.
During your probationary period you will undergo a number of assessments e.g. day/night navigation, crag skills, knowledge of team equipment and casualty care, which you will have to successfully pass before being offered full membership of the team.
Our main operating area is the easterly section of the Brecon Beacons National Park, an area known as the Black Mountains, popular amongst walkers, mountain bikers and outdoor enthusiasts. The Brecon Beacons cover an area of some 520 square miles and much of the park is over 800ft(244m) above sea level. The main summits are over 2000ft(610m) high and the whole area is of varied terrain from open moorland to dense forests and barren peaks.The team is not however purely confined to the mountainous regions, we operate in lowlands and urban areas if necessary, as far north as the southern reaches of Snowdonia and south to the Bristol Channel.