England

Durham mountain rescue fire station base 'will save lives'

Mountain rescue base Image copyright Durham and Darlington Fire Service
Image caption The base in Durham would allow the team more efficient access to the whole county, it said

A mountain rescue team has said having a fire station base will save lives.

Teesdale and Weardale Search and Mountain Rescue Team will keep vehicles and equipment at Durham's Community Fire Station.

It will also be based at a new £3.78m quad station in Barnard Castle incorporating the county's fire, police and ambulance services.

Deputy team leader Steve Owers said finding people in semi-urban areas now accounted for half of its call-outs.

Tracking down children and people with dementia or depression, who were unlikely to survive another night outdoors, had doubled the team's workload, he said.

Having a base in Durham, the centre of the county, means rescuers have easier access to equipment, cutting response times.

"Building a relationship with police officers and firefighters on the ground that we're going to be meeting in incidents is really important," Mr Owers said.

The new rescue centre in Durham is named after former rescuer Chris Scott, who died in 2014, aged 75.

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