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Mountain rescue teams respond to a wide variety of different incidents, over rugged terrain, often a good distance from the nearest road. And teams are often called to help in extreme weather conditions, or when roads are flooded or covered in snow and ice.
Consequently, the majority of mountain rescue vehicles are four wheel drive and, more often than not, Land Rovers, which allow a hill party of five and all of their equipment to be taken as close as possible to the casualty site.
Vehicles are modified – and liveried appropriately with blue lights and emergency markings, as well as a team's identity – to suit the needs of the individual team. Some may purely be people and equipment carriers, but the majority are adapted and fitted out to enable use as an ambulance (and registered thus) capable of transporting a casualty to hospital if necessary.
The fitting of blue lights and sirens enables easier identification by the public and, hopefully, safer progress through traffic – and speedier treatment for the casualty. That said, driving mountain rescue vehicles requires a great deal of skill and training, and teams often work with their local police, ambulance or fire services to provide driver training.