What's the story?
Thanks to tireless fundraising the Galloway Mountain Rescue Team now has a purpose-built Defender 110 ambulance and a Vauxhall Movano Incident Control Vehicle, which acts as a mobile base, where the search can be managed from.
After years of making do with a 17-year-old Defender, the team’s fundraising meant they could buy a bespoke Land Rover, having it kitted out by Lakeland Conversions at a cost of £45,000. Blue lights are all over the exterior, all controlled by an interior control panel, and there are Lightforce spotlights on the roof rack mountings. The galvanized roof rack carries a hi-lift jack, and allows the Land Rover to transport a stretcher on the roof that’s used for helicopter rescues.
To make it even better off-road, Lakeland Land Rover fitted a set of Goodyear Wrangler MT tyres. There’s also a Warn 9.5 CTi winch mounted on the front bumper. The Defender may be fairly basic inside but simplicity is essential, as much for practicality as longevity.
‘The 2.2-litre engine is a revelation,’ says Ken McCubbin, one of Galloway Mountain Rescue Team’s longest-serving members. ‘The Land Rover means we can access calls quicker and more efficiently than ever before.’ The engine is certainly proving itself today. It’s quiet and refined at speed, meaning the onboard CB radio is clear and audible.
Our favourite bit?
Although basic, the Defender carries everything that the team might need thanks to the 110 Utility’s load space, which has been racked out and modified. As well as storing equipment, the Defender’s front passenger seat and rear seat behind it can be folded flat for a stretcher to be fitted inside.
And the verdict from LRO writer Peter Skilton?
When my turn behind the wheel comes, my inner child is released. A whole host of buttons is within reach and that childhood dream of driving with lights and sirens blazing comes true. The Defender performs faultlessly on the rugged terrain and has the reliability the team couldn’t always be sure of with the tired 300Tdi Station Wagon. Response times are shorter and its breadth of capabilities means the team can be much more effective.
Model: Defender 110 Utility
Engine: 2198cc TDCi 4cyl
Transmission: Six-speed manual
Tyres: 235/85 R16 Goodyear Wrangler MT