Emergency Stretcher Boxes are predominately located in high, inaccessible mountainous areas. They hold vital equipment used for rescue. They have become iconic landmarks in distinguished areas providing the occasional safe haven in an emergency for an individual.
These boxes are located where a team feel they could be best utilised. They are normally placed in areas that have very difficult terrain, enabling teams to hot foot in and utilise the equipment in place to effect a rescue quickly and efficiently.
Used less now-a-days due to better equipment, routes and air assets, most of these boxes remain and are maintained individually by respective teams.
Coniston’s stretcher box is located at the base of Dow Crag, painted blue and rescue marked, it remains as an iconic land mark in a renowned and very popular climbing area.
The box was originally provided and installed by the Barrow Mountaineering & Ski Club, in memory of two of their members who were avalanched on Hellvelyn and killed. Their names were Ross Porteus and Tony Fisher, we have their names recorded on a stone plaque in the base.
It has been repaired several times, before being replaced by a large donation given by a well known local journalist called Harry Griffin in memory of his son. Harry had been a founder member of the well known pre 2nd world war local climbing club called the Coniston Tigers.
It was flown up in sections by the RAF, and assembled by Coniston Team Members. The original one had one of the old Thomas stretchers in it, plus some old army surplus blankets and I think a sleeping bag plus basic 1st Aid Kit, bandages, wound dressings etc. The idea being that people could start self rescue in the days before mobile phones when it took at least an hour to get down to the village to raise the alarm.
In July 2018, the box was completely renewed. One of the team members, a joiner, built a new stretcher box which was transported up with the help of a helicopter and fixed into position. We would like to thank the donations that have allowed this to take place with special thanks to:
James Latham Gateshead
Medite Tricoya Extreme