The multi-role vehicle was supplied to the Edale MRT (Mountain Rescue Team) and has been designed not only to transport volunteers to remote locations, but also to move casualties and act as a mobile command and control centre.
The factory-built Sprinter 316 CDI arrived via the Sheffield branch of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Mercedes-Benz dealer Northside Truck & Van.
As well as the driver and a front-seat passenger, it will carry another team member in a rear-facing seat, and an injured person on a stretcher.
The van is also equipped with computer and communications equipment, which can be powered by lithium-ion batteries charged with the help of two roof-mounted solar panels.
The Sprinter 4x4 sits higher than its standard counterpart, which assists when fording water as well as tackling uneven ground.
It employs rear-wheel drive for road use, but all-wheel drive can be selected for off road – with the system harnessing a development of Mercedes-Benz’s 4-ETS (electronic traction system), integrated with Adaptive ESP anti-skid technology.
According to the company, that combination provides traction management, for example, sensing early onset wheel spin on slippery ground and sending drive to wheels that still have grip.
“Our visit to VanExperience LIVE [driving event at the Millbrook Proving Ground] was quite an eye-opener,” comments MRT leader James Stubley.
“It confirmed absolutely that we had made the right choice, and we came away really looking forward to getting our new van on – and off – the road,” he continues.
“We know from experience that Mercedes-Benz vans are extremely well built and reliable, as our new vehicle has replaced an older Sprinter donated to us by South Yorkshire Police.
“It was still going strong at 20 years old and has now been passed on to the Yorkshire Lowland Search and Rescue Team, where it will continue to serve the county’s public.”