Grand opening of new Rescue Centre for Devon Search & Rescue Team

On Saturday September 24th, the Dartmoor Search & Rescue Team Ashburton Section, held the grand opening of its new Rescue Centre. Its first permanent base in its 35 year history.

2 - Rescue Centre Grand Opening

Up until now the team had relied on the goodwill of volunteers to store its equipment and vehicles. Now, thanks to the Abbot of Buckfast, it has a facility to securely store the rescue equpiment, space to dry wet kit as well as meeting rooms to run training lectures. The day was well attended not just by invited dignitaries, including the Abbot of Buckfast Abbey who conducted the opening service, but also by the general public, supporters and team members and their families who got an insight into what team members do when they disappear in the middle of the night to answer a call for help. An air-sea rescue helicopter from RAF Chivenor 22 Squadron provided a fly past to add further excitement to the day and make sure the day would be remembered by the team for a long time to come.

37 - Rescue Centre Grand Opening

After the rescue centre was officially opened, it was time for the impressive official cake to be cut and refreshments to be consumed as the formal part of the afternoon’s celelebration drew to a close.

16 - Rescue Centre Grand Opening

Guests were invited to have a look around the new facility, ask the team members questions, and take a closer look at the kit that members use to effect rescues.

44 - Rescue Centre Grand Opening

The next challenge!

The next challenge for the team is to re-equip all its members with new outdoor clothing to replace the ageing jackets and trousers that have been in use for about 10 years. This is expected to cost approximately £17,000 and the team is looking for sponsorship from organisations or businesses, and donations from the public to help with the ongoing costs of running the team. If you would like to donate then you can online via Everyclick or you can contact the team secretary directly with sponsorship ideas at

Further details on the team.

The team based in Ashburton, Devon, is a registered charity funded by the generousity of the public, that provides a vital search and rescue service in the county.

Although the police have the ultimate responsibility for responding to and investigating reports of missing persons, they will often request the services of volunteer Search and Rescue teams, such as the Ashburton based team, to assist in such matters.

The team’s responsibility covers not just the highland areas of Dartmoor, but also to the fringes of the Devon coast, where the coastguard takes over. Hence their search and rescue operations can cover both rural and urban areas.

One key element about the team is that it is a voluntary organisation that relies on the valued time and effort of its team members. The team also rely on kind donations from industry and the public plus fundraising activities by its members.

3 - Rescue Centre Grand Opening

The team members include a wide diversity of professionals, including A&E consultants, social care workers and electronics engineers.

A Slideshow from the day’s festivities is included below.


Further information on the work of the Dartmoor Search & Rescue Team, Ashburton can be found at the following online resources:

You can vote for the team too at the Natwest’s Community Force project.  This will help them get some much needed funding to urgently repalce rescue equipment.

Vote at:

Donate at:




The team is affiliated to MREW, Mountain Rescue England & Wales:





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