Paul en­joys a life less or­di­nary in the DWMRT

Bray People - - News -

PRO of Dublin Wick­low Moun­tain Res­cue Team (DWMRT), Paul Gil­bert (pic­tured inset), is so ded­i­cated to the team that he moved from his Dun­drum home to Round­wood to be closer to the team’s res­cue base.

He was just one of the many res­cuers in­volved in the mas­sive search op­er­a­tion for lost moun­taineers Pat Do­ran from Wick­low and Keith McDon­nell from Dun­boyne, Co. Meath last week.

‘My­self and my wife, Hely, moved to Round­wood from Dun­drum last May to be closer to our base in Round­wood and we set­tled in very quickly.’

Paul who works with Dell in Cher­ry­mount said that while there is no for­mal ar­range­ment in place with the com­pany re­gard­ing his res­cue mis­sions they were very sup­port­ive.‘They are very un­der­stand­ing to any per­son work­ing with them who is work­ing to sup­port the lo­cal com­mu­nity. They are cer­tainly an un­der­stand­ing em­ployer and not every­one is in that po­si­tion. A lot of our mem­bers are self em­ployed so they have to ab­sorb the cost of lost time them­selves.’

Paul and Hely don’t have a fam­ily yet but he recog­nises that when they do he will have to reeval­u­ate his com­mit­ment. ‘When we start a fam­ily I will have to cur­tail some of my in­volve­ment with the team in terms of the ex­tra re­spon­si­bil­i­ties I have taken on. I will have to cut back but I will still be at­tend­ing res­cues.’

With a rig­or­ous train­ing sched­ule not to men­tion in ex­cess of 50 res­cue op­er­a­tions per year Paul es­ti­mates that up to 70 days of the year in­volve some sort of DWMRT du­ties which is ap­prox­i­mately one fifth of the year.

But while Paul is up on the moun­tains of Dublin and Wick­low res­cu­ing peo­ple his fam­ily are nat­u­rally wor­ried. ‘My youngest brother John is in­volved in the Ir­ish Cave Res­cue Or­gan­i­sa­tion and when ei­ther of us are out ei­ther train­ing or res­cu­ing they are aware there is an el­e­ment of risk.’

Paul’s in­ter­est in moun­tain res­cue stems back to his time as an ad­ven­ture scout dur­ing his teens in Dun­drum. ‘There is a con­sid­er­able cost. Peo­ple think when they see the uni­form that they are given to us but we have to pay a con­sid­er­able amount to­wards the kit. Most of us not only have a top qual­ity res­cue kit but we also have our own per­sonal kit. Petrol, food, tele­phone calls, hol­i­day days from work and aban­doned per­sonal en­gage­ments all have to be paid for by us. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.’

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