The fully kitted out Sprinter 4×4 is being used by the Edale MRT (Mountain Rescue Team) to provide transportation to remote locations safely and efficiently, move casualties across challenging terrain, and act as a mobile command and control centre for complex incidents such as missing person searches.
The van has already been used to assist injured walkers and climbers, and to assist police searches for people reported missing.
The Sprinter 316 CDI arrived via the Sheffield branch of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Mercedes-Benz Dealer Northside Truck & Van. As well as the driver and afront-seat passenger, it will carry another team member in a rear-facing seat, and an injured person on a stretcher.
The van is also equipped with an array of computer and communications equipment, including two large touch-screen monitors and software systems which can be employed to share information with other teams or emergency services. Restricting the need to run the engine while the vehicle is stationary, these can be powered by a bank of lithium-ion batteries which are charged with the help of two roof-mounted solar panels.
The Sprinter 4×4 is supplied as a factory-built option, rather than an aftermarket conversion, and sits higher than its standard counterpart, which assists when fording water as well as tackling uneven ground.
It employs rear-wheel drive for road use, but all-wheel drive can be selected when venturing off road. This uses a development of the Mercedes-Benz 4-ETS (Electronic Traction System), which is integrated with the Adaptive ESP anti-skid technology to provide traction management – on slippery ground this senses when a wheel starts to spin, and sends drive to those with good grip.
MRT leader James Stubley said: “We know from experience that Mercedes-Benz vans are extremely well built and reliable, as our new vehicle has replaced an older Sprinter, which was donated to us by South Yorkshire Police. It was still going strong at 20 years old and has now been passed on to the Yorkshire Lowland Search and Rescue Team, where it will continue to serve the county’s public.”
He added: “The relationship we’ve built up with Northside Truck & Van was also instrumental in convincing us to buy another Mercedes-Benz, as the dealer’s Sheffield team look after us very well.
“Finally, as a charity that derives its income from public donations, we are always conscious of the need to get the best value for any money that we spend – the Sprinter 4×4 was very competitively priced, given its range of capabilities.”