New stretcher promises to help mountain rescuers

Image caption,
The specially designed stretcher can be broken up into three parts

A specially designed stretcher which will make it easier to take casualties off mountains has been unveiled.

The Katie Stretcher is the brainchild of Scottish mountain rescue teams.

It is made of lightweight carbon fibre and can break up into three sections, making it much easier to transport to accident sites.

A mountain rescue teams' conference in Aberfeldy was told it is now ready to go into production following a number of prototypes.

The piece of equipment was developed under the auspices of the Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland.

The project has been paid for by money donated from a fund in memory of Catherine Smith, who died in the Himalayas from altitude sickness whilst on honeymoon in 1992.

Most mountain rescue teams currently use the McInnes stretcher which was invented by the Scottish climber Dr Hamish McInnes.

Shaun Roberts, of the Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland, said of the Katie Stretcher: "It can be carried by one MRT member or broken down into three and carried by three people.

"When it's in three pieces it is far less likely to catch the wind and act like a sail which is the big problem with current stretchers on exposed mountainsides."

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