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Search & Rescue at Desmond Motors

Posted on 18 February 2022

Desmond Motors Supply 11 Vehicles to Search & Rescue Services in Northern Ireland

We are delighted to have won the opportunity to supply 11 vehicles to these volunteering groups who often risk their own lives for the protection of others. 

With more people than ever visiting our countryside and mountains since the beginning of the pandemic, this investment is vital to their services.  

We are converting Ford Rangers to carry equipment up mountains and across rough terrain.  Custom made rear cargo areas, upgrading tyres & suspension capabilities, to help get volunteers closer to their casualties.

"This is something we as an organisation believe in strongly.  We have such faith in vehicles we sell, and their capabilities.  Ford have a strong partnership with the RNLI and work hand in hand to support their work and safety messages.  In 2019 Desmond Motors put the Ford Ranger to the test in our partnership with Foyle Search & Rescue and in 2022 it is still providing the much needed assistance to the organisation."

Search & Rescue Funding Scheme

“I’m delighted to announce this new £2million funding scheme to support the vital work these groups do, 365 days a year, to save lives,” Minister Poots said.

Minister Poots visited Co Down to hand over letters of offer to the organisations.

The Minister said: “The organisations I have visited showcase the very best of Northern Ireland. They are community organisations that rely wholly on the commitment and dedication of volunteers who often risk their own lives for the protection of others.

he went on to add "This funding will enable NISAR teams from across the region to purchase essential life-saving equipment such as all-terrain vehicles, defibrillators and fire-resistant PPEs.”  Full article can be read here.

What are the Conversions?

Sky Watch NI

Sky Watch NI will receive 2x Ford Ranger pickups. These will be stripped back to remove the rear tub and sent to Strong’s plastics in Birmingham who will re-fit a new custom made canopy blue light ready.

In addition to the Ranger, there is also a Ford Transit Trail All Wheel Drive. Premier Vehicle solutions will convert the Transit into a command centre, fitted with a charging system 6m telescopic scene lighting and 602 monitors to see the images from the drones to help find missing people or monitor fire spread control.

 Sky Watch NI

Lagan Search & Rescue  

Lagan Search & rescue's Ford Ranger will be stripped back by Strong's Plastics to fit a new custom made canopy blue light ready.  Their Transit 12 seat Minibus will be covered into an emergency response vehicle

And finally the Transit Trail All-Wheel-Drive to be converted into a control centre with welfare amenities by Etrux.

Mourne Mountain Rescue

Mourne Mountain Rescue Team

Mourne Mountain Rescue Team required 2 White Ford Rangers. Due to the deadline we didn’t have stock to match their needs we sprayed 2 Rangers of the same specification, and they are now undergoing a different conversion with a lot of dual battery systems lift kits oversize tyres.  Delighted to have Storm accessories take on this conversion

North West Mountain Rescue

North West Mountain Rescue

North West Mountain Rescue required a single cab Pickup 4X4.  This will be converted into a mountain ambulance with a roll bar fixing point for stretchers and a custom design seat for the volunteer to sit with the casualty.  We will also be fitting the Ranger with winches snorkels so the vehicle can get as close as possible to save volunteers carrying stretchers long distances.

Their Transit Trail is to be converted to an ambulance to be able to get casualties to hospital and help the speed at which they get to A&E.  

Irish Cave Rescue

Irish Cave Rescue

Irish Cave Rescue were in need of a Ford Ranger.  The Ranger will be stripped to remove the rear tub and send to Strong’s plastics in Birmingham to fit a new custom made canopy blue light ready.

When will the vehicles be ready?

All emergency vehicles will be field ready by 31st March 2022. 

You can follow our social media pages for continual updates of progress.