Lochaber MRT Stretcher 1950 and 1951kit issue to Police from RAF Kinloss MRT

1951 Gear letter Police

1951 Gear letter Police from RAF Kinloss.

Looking through a few old letters than I saved from the bin many years ago. This is from the Inverness Police accepting the offer from RAF Kinloss for some axes, rope and clothing, this was 1950! Kit for 8 people was given to the Police.

1950 letter from Doctor Donald Duff reference his new stretcher

1950 letter from Doctor Donald Duff reference his new stretcher

The letter above is from Doctor Donald Duff a famous pioneer who was the surgeon in charge at the Belford hospital in Fort William. He was in the process of designing a new stretcher that he used in Wales in 1941. He had was working on a collapsible/ folding stretcher, sledge with wheels. I found the reply that RAF Kinloss wrote that they thought that the idea of a wheel or wheels would be in there view impracticable for mountain use! They were working on their own ideas but would have a look at Donald Duffs stretcher. It became a winner!

The early days of Lochaber MRT - Doctor Donald Duff at Polldubh

The early days of Lochaber MRT – Doctor Donald Duff at Polldubh  Glen Nevis with one of his stretchers?

It is amazing how a basic item like a stretcher has moved on, Hamish McInnes was working away in Glencoe and still making his own stretchers. This is from Hamish’s blog what a man

In response to the need for stretchers to rescue injured climbers from locations with difficult access and which could be carried by rescuers more easily than the then available stretchers, Hamish MacInnes designed his first folding stretcher in the early 1960’s – an early MK1 from that era is illustrated on the right. This was a folding model and made by an aircraft company from aluminum alloy. It weighed about 18 kg. Some of those early stretchers are still in use, even after over fifty years use. Various models of the stretchers are deployed all over the world and thousands of injured climbers have been evacuated.

Mc Innes Stretcher

Mc Innes Stretcher

Known around the world by the name “MacInnes Stretcher” the original design has been developed continuously for the last fifty years and there are currently two main models available – the MK6 and the MK7.

The two sections of the MK6 are carried to the accident scene on special pack frames, which double as carrying harnesses with a patient on board. This stretcher is rugged, can take enormous punishment as it is designed as a great spring, and is the solution for regions where helicopters are not always available or where strenuous rescues are encountered.

There are various options: head guards, six point winching harness and a selection of wheel systems. The patient bed is of foam covered alloy and patient securing is by 45 mm webbing with quick-action s/s buckles.

This never caught on!

This never caught on!

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer when body slows, loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Friends, History, Mountain rescue, Mountaineering. Bookmark the permalink.

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