This weekend, St John Scotland officially transferred ownership of Lomond’s Mountain Rescue base to the team.
St John Scotland is proud to be the biggest contributor to Scottish Mountain Rescue teams for many years and by 2020, the charity will have provided over £3.2 million in funding, mainly through the provision of bases and vehicles. Since it began its support of Mountain Rescue, St John Scotland has provided bases for 14 teams in Scotland including Aberdeen, Arran, Arrochar, Dundonnell, Galloway, Lomond, Moffat, Oban, Ochils, two bases in Skye, Tayside, Tweed Valley and Ullapool.
The Lomond base, is the sixth base of thirteen to be gifted from St John Scotland to the team itself. The cost of these bases has now topped £2 million and until now, were provided to the teams under licence and rent free.
The Lomond Mountain Rescue Team cover one thousand square miles of geographically diverse terrain, largely within the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. Before the new base was built, the team would operate from a damp lock-up in Balfron. According to the team, they would regularly be sent home with a boot full of wet equipment to dry out at home. If the team were not outside training, they would have to book a local church hall as a venue.
David Dodson, Team Leader commented: “Lomond Mountain Rescue Team and Scottish Mountain Rescue in general, are very grateful for the continuing, extensive support of St John Scotland. In funding the building of this facility and now transferring ownership to us has been and continues to be, a significant step forward in allowing us to operate and provide as professional a rescue service that we can.”
A spokesperson for St John Scotland said: “We are delighted to be able to gift the Lomond base to the team. However, this will not be the end of our relationship and we look forward to maintaining and strengthening our existing links with the team.”
Moving forward, St John Scotland will maintain a close relationship with the Lomond Mountain Rescue team and upon its transfer, the base will be known as ‘Lomond Mountain Rescue Team, St John Base’.