1. ITV Report

Mountain Rescue Teams in Cumbria ask people to stay off the fells

The Lake District's Mountain Rescue Teams are urging the public to stay off the fells so no added strain is put on the NHS.

Guidance released to the police last week suggests that it is ok to drive somewhere to exercise as long as the walk is longer than the journey.

Cumbria Police has stated once again that Cumbria is closed to visitors and the mountain rescue teams support that.

Richard Warren, Chair of Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association, says locals shouldn't see the new guidance as a 'loophole' and head out onto the fells.

They are still calling for everyone to stay off the mountains in case they need rescuing which would put more pressure on the NHS which it doesn't need during the current pandemic.

"In the last 28 days we've had just two calls outs and if you compare that with 2019 we had 35.

"Fourteen were injuries and another 9 medical emergencies now these will take an ambulance, they will take involvement from our NHS colleagues from the accident and emergency departments.

"It's not so much about social distancing because you can distance yourself very well in the mountains it's about not putting yourself at risk and tying up the national health service."

– Richard Warren, Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association

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Mr Warren added that the teams had handed over their PPE equipment to NHS staff so would themselves be vulnerable if they had to attend a call out.

"Everybody should be thinking abut what they are doing and what their impact could be. "I would be distraught if a member of family was suffering and needed a 999 call in West Lakeland and I couldn't get an ambulance because someone had gone and got themselves injured on a high mountain."

– Richard Warren

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