The team recently congratulated Penny Kirby on reaching the fantastic milestone of 40 years as a member of Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team.
The story of her arriving in the team is somewhat serendipitous; she was climbing with friends on Skye, and in the famous Sligachan pub afterwards got talking with others about their adventures of the day. The amazing thing is that one of the those people was a Wasdale MRT team member, and they discovered gradually that they lived only a few miles from each other in Wasdale! A few weeks later Penny took a call……..’would she like to try a training session with the team……climbing on Buckbarrrow…. it starts in 15 minutes?’ Penny instinctively agreed, grabbed some gear and ran. No time even to think about being (that) nervous! The rest is history, and what a history it is:
40 years as a fell going team member
She also holds or has held the following roles during her time in the team:
Duty Team Leader since 2009
Lake District Mountain Rescue Search Dog Handler with her 5th dog, Jess. (Ben, Mif, Pippi and Ollie before). Many dog ‘finds’ along the way.
Lake District Mountain Rescue Search Dog Assessor
Over the years she has been involved in many significant and challenging incidents; perhaps most notably responding to the Lockerbie air disaster in her Search Dog Handler role.
We’d like to say a massive congratulations and thank her for her amazing service, directly helping thousands of people during that time. In particular, as a Team Leader she is very often at the sharp end of helping casualties, informants, friends and family, always treating people with kindness and sensitivity.