/ CBMRT /
“When we are trying to locate a person in need of our help, the last thing we want to worry about is our devices. Mountain rescue can be very hard on equipment, but our Getac tablets perform flawlessly in even the toughest conditions, meaning we can stay focused on the task at hand, which is saving lives.”
Penny Brockman, Team Leader, Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team
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/ Challenge /
The Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team (CBMRT) is a voluntary organisation covering the central Brecon Beacons, including South Wales’ highest mountain, Pen y Fan, Cribyn and Corn Du, as well as the Ystradfellte waterfalls. CBMRT responds to over 120 incidents each year, rescuing those who have gotten into trouble in what is a beautiful but often dangerous part of the UK. The team consists of 55 unpaid volunteers who are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Search and rescue operations often take place in very challenging conditions, including heavy rain and snow, as well as in remote areas of the national park, which can make coordination difficult without the right equipment. In the past, the CBMRT relied on physical maps and personal, non-rugged mobile devices. However, this approach was often slow, especially when having to manage other tasks at the same time, which hampered overall rescue efforts. The team also had one laptop that was shared across its three response vehicles, but with no internet connection capabilities, the laptop had very limited practical use during ongoing operations.
“Our goal is to find someone as quickly as possible,” says Penny Brockman, Team Leader of the CBMRT. “However, in many instances, our technology was hindering rather than helping and preventing us from operating as effectively as we wanted to.”
/ Solution /
In November 2017, a devastating fire at its base of operations in Merthyr destroyed all of the CBMRT’s response vehicles and equipment. In response, Getac donated three ZX70 fully rugged Android tablets and three F110 fully rugged Windows tablets to replace the lost equipment, providing a significant technology upgrade in the process.
The ZX70 and F110 both feature a host of innovative technologies that greatly enhance CBMRT rescue efforts during time-sensitive operations. Getac’s revolutionary Lumibond® touchscreen technology means rescuers can view and operate the devices in all weather conditions, from bright sunlight to heavy rain, and even while wearing gloves. Powerful inbuilt 4G LTE connectivity enables team members to remotely log-in to the SARCALL incident management platform from any location, where they can liaise with other rescue parties, coordinate searches and provide real-time updates.
Secure vehicle docking stations with compact, robust Zirkona mounting brackets were also donated by Gamber-Johnson, while Lind Electronics donated high quality, rugged vehicle power adaptors that meet the requirements of the most demanding and harsh environments. These have been used to create fully integrated solutions in both the front and rear of the CBMRT’s three new response vehicles, allowing the devices to be safely used when in transit, then detached and taken into the field once teams are at the scene of an incident.
/ Benefits /
Getac’s rugged mobile devices and secure vehicle docks have helped to significantly increase situational awareness across all of the CBMRT’s rescue operations. The ability to coordinate efforts and share key information quickly and easily both when in transit and on foot saves precious time, which can make a make a big difference to survival prospects of those in distress. The fully rugged design of Getac’s devices also provides complete peace of mind to rescue teams, regardless of what the weather and terrain throw at them.
“When we are trying to locate a person in need of our help, the last thing we want to worry about is our devices,” says Penny. “Mountain rescue can be very hard on equipment, but our Getac tablets perform flawlessly in even the toughest conditions, meaning we can stay focussed on the task at hand, which is saving lives.”
“Over the last few years, technology has started playing an increasingly important role in mountain rescue,” concludes Penny. “Previously we’ve had to rely on physical maps and mobile phones, which is far from ideal in the difficult and hard conditions we operate in. Now, thanks to Getac, we’ve got everything we need to communicate effectively with other rescue teams in real-time, from anywhere, all directly at our fingertips.”
/ ABOUT THE CENTRAL BEACONS MOUNTAIN RESCUE TEAM /
Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team (CBMRT) operates in the Brecon Beacons National Park incorporating Pen y Fan, the highest point in southern Britain, as well as the beautiful waterfalls of Ystradfellte, and Cardiff, Caerphilly and Newport. The Team trains regularly, meeting one night a week and a full day exercise once a month. CBMRT is made up entirely of unpaid volunteers, who give up their time to help those that need it.
The team is called out by the police, and its volunteers are alerted using the SARCALL Incident Management Platform. Further messages then inform members of where and what the incident is. Rescuers will respond to the incident either from CBMRT’s temporary base in Merthyr or directly to the location of the incident.
CBMRT also works closely with other mountain rescue teams in South Wales. The organisation relies on donations from members of the public to carry out this essential life-saving rescue service.