COVID

A statement from DevCRO in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Be Sensible, Be Alert, Be Safe

Please be aware that during the COVID-19 outbreak our rescue response will be limited, putting both you and our volunteers at increased risk.

DCRO is a volunteer rescue team whose members are highly skilled in working underground and bringing rescues to a successful conclusion. However, any rescue will put its members at risk of contracting the SARS-CoV-2 virus from a casualty or fellow team member who is not showing symptoms. As such we are forced to change the way we operate, and this will have an impact on the service that we can provide.

Our response will likely:

  • Take longer to get to you, to help you, and to get you out. This is a result of the additional complications involved with abiding by social distancing measures and PPE requirements.

  • Be understaffed as we need to limit the number of our volunteers who may need to self isolate following an incident, and therefore be unavailable to assist in future rescues.

  • Cost more as our vehicles, equipment, and clothing will all need to be decontaminated or replaced.

  • Be unpopular with local communities and emergency services that are already overstretched both by the virus and the influx of recent visitors.

As such, it is vital that you understand that at the moment you are at increased risk if you choose to venture underground.

BCA urges cavers to be responsible and if you do decide to go caving, then minimise the risk of accidents underground by choosing less demanding caves and mines.

— R Myers, BCA Secretary | 01/06/2020

There is more information in the statements released by the British Cave Rescue Council, and the British Caving Association. Please be aware of this message from our regional council:

The Devon & Cornwall Underground Council does not endorse any caving in these counties at this time.

We want you to really think about your trip underground and its potential effect on others. The risk of an accident is small. The consequences of a rescue are massive.

Thank you for being kind to us. We will still be there and do the best we can in the event of an incident.