Our rescue response has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic

Devon Cave Rescue Organisation

Devon's underground emergency service

Devon Cave Rescue Organisation (DCRO) is a volunteer run search and rescue charity, comprised of local cavers who assist others who may be lost or injured in the caves or mines of Devon. The rescue team has approximately 48 members, based throughout Devon, Somerset and Cornwall.

DCRO is a member team of the British Cave Rescue Council, and work closely with Mountain Rescue England and Wales. Team members are on call, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to ensure injured and sick casualties are safely delivered into hospital care.

But they also regularly help search for missing children and vulnerable adults, above and below ground, whilst administering sympathetic support to their families. And, between them, they rescue a frankly stunning number of dogs, cows, sheep and any number of other animals, from all manner of inaccessible places.

Callout procedure

In an emergency: Call 999 and ask for the Police. When connected ask for Cave Rescue. Be prepared to give them details of the incident; we recommend the CHALET structure:

  • Casualties: Including the number, names & ages, and types of injury.
  • Hazards: To the rescuers such as rock-fall or flooding.
  • Access: Such as the name of the cave or mine, the nature of the area (e.g. woodland), and any access issues (e.g. steep ground).
  • Location: A precise location such as a grid-reference or what3words address.
  • Equipment: Do they have any emergency equipment with them, and is there anyone on scene already?
  • Type & Time: What happened (e.g. a fall) and when did it happen?