South Wales Freemasons donate £55,000 for a new Brecon Beacons mountain rescue vehicle

The Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team (CBMRT) is an organisation made up from volunteers, which provides an essential life-saving rescue service. It responds to ‘999 emergencies’ 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in any weather, and covers a vast area of southern Wales, which includes central section of the Brecon Beacons, the south Wales valley’s and the cities of Cardiff and Newport. The CBMRT solely relies on donations from members of the public to carry out is operations.

After a disastrous fire to the CBMRT headquarters, which destroyed it’s base along with equipment and rescue vehicles, the south Wales Freemasons came to the rescue of this rescue service.

Through its Masonic Benevolent Fund (MBF), which provides grants to assist organisations outside of Freemasonry, a ‘state-of-the-art’ rescue vehicle, the £55,000 Isuzu D-Max Utah – converted by Pickup Systems Burnley – was presented to CBMRT at the South Wales Provincial Grand Lodge meeting.

The Isuzu is a ‘first response’ emergency vehicle with the ‘call sign’ Mobile 1. It has search operations capability, it can traverse flood water with a high-level exhaust and is readily identifiable with Mountain Rescue colours and blue lights to support urgent responses.

Penny Brockman, CBMRT Foundation Team Member, said: “On behalf of CBMRT I would like to say a huge thank you to the Freemasons of south Wales for their extremely generous donation. Mobile 1 will be an invaluable asset and will be used in rescues across south, mid and west Wales, and undoubtedly will contribute to saving many lives in the area.”

Since the hand over to the Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team, operations have included a missing person callout in Cardiff, rescue of two people in a waterfall location, assisting with the rescue of an off-road motorcyclist, a further waterfall callout to a walker with serious injuries and saving a young boy missing on a south Wales mountain.

Patrick Pattison of the MBF, said: “On behalf of the Freemasons of south Wales and the Masonic Benevolent Fund we are delighted to help the Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team with the purchase of the new vehicle, and we are glad that this donation is immediately helping to save lives in the Principality.”

Pictured at the formal ‘hand over’ ceremony at Barry are (left to right) Andrew L. Gretton MBF Chairman, CBMRT Incident Controller David Cross, David Swain representing Brecknock Lodge No.651, CBMRT Team Leader Penny Brockman, CBMRT Foundation Team Member Kate Murray, Gareth Jones PGM , William E. Jenkins Deputy PGM, and CBMRT Fund Raiser & PR Officer Lee Faulkner.

Photo credit: Roger Gale