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Rescue Centre

The Team has had a variety of buildings during itís history. The first base was a wooden hut next to the car park at High Force, in upper Teesdale, provided by Raby Estate. There are many former Team members with fond memories of exercises run from the hut and weekends spent sleeping on the concrete floor.

The next development was a collection of garages rented from Teesdale District Council and located in Barnard Castle. These provided storage for team vehicles and a limited amount of office space, but nothing more. Team training continued to be carried out at a variety of locations including the Wheatsheaf Inn in Staindrop, Staindrop Comprehensive School and the social club at Bishop Auckland Police Station.

In December 1998, towards the end of the lease period for the garages, the Team received an offer from the Durham Police Authority of some land behind Barnard Castle Police Station. After a frantic two years of planning and fund-raising (including help from the National lottery) the purpose built Rescue Centre was officially opened by Lord Barnard on Saturday 31st March 2001.


The Rescue Centre consisted of a double garage area for the vehicles, which included a rope training wall, shaft rescue platform and adjustable slope. This base also included a control room with archive store and an upstairs large meeting / presentation room.

In 2017 the team moved into the new Quad Base in Barnard Castle alongside the Police, Fire and Ambulance services - this was the first base in the entire country to serve all four emergency services. Since the Quad base couldn't offer the Team the full range of facilities we now need we also opened a second base at the fire station in Durham City, named The Chris Scott Search and Rescue Centre in honour of one of the team's founder members who worked tirelessly for the team both operationally and behind the scenes for many years. The Chris Scott Search and Rescue Centre has a large double garage, briefing room, control room, archive store, equipment store and drying room.