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Press Releases

5th January 2010

COTAG ASSISTS MEDICAL STAFF AT DR GRAY'S DURING GRAMPIAN SNOW STORM

Dr Grays Hospital Elgin called on the services of a unique volunteer organisation in Grampian to assist them deal with the chaos caused by the extreme weather on Tuesday 5th January 2010.

COTAG (Community Off-road Transport Action Group) is the only organisation of its type in Scotland. COTAG provides the emergency services and local authorities with 4x4 vehicles and highly trained drivers which, in extreme conditions, offer additional logistic resources.

Today, during the extreme weather conditions, a total of five COTAG vehicles provided assistance by collection specialised medical staff and transporting them from their snowbound homes across Moray to Dr Gray's Hospital.


4th September 2009

COTAG ASSISTS GRAMPIAN POLICE DURING MORAY FLOODS

Grampian Police called on the services of a unique volunteer organisation in Moray to assist them in dealing with the chaos caused by the extreme flooding in the early hours of Friday 4 September 2009.

The call came at 0130 on Friday morning to head for Fochabers, where COTAG provided assistance to Grampian Fire and Rescue Service recovering families from flooded residences to the Gordon Arms Hotel which was being used as a safe haven.

Additionally COTAG vehicles assisted Grampian Police in checking main trunk roads and other main arteries of the road networks within Moray and Aberdeenshire searching for and recovering stranded drivers and vehicles.


8th February 2009

COTAG ASSISTS POLICE DURING GRAMPIAN SNOW STORM

Grampian Police called on the services of a unique volunteer organisation in Moray to assist them deal with the chaos caused by the extreme weather on Thursday 7 February 2009.

This week, during the extreme weather conditions, COTAG provided assistance with checking main trunk roads and other main arteries of the road networks within Moray and Aberdeenshire searching for stranded drivers and vehicles. They also assisted the efforts of Bear Scotland, the local authorities and Grampian Police in order to re-establish traffic movement in these areas.

COTAG assisting during adverse road conditions


1st September 2008

VOLUNTEER GROUP AWARDED LOTTERY GRANT

A new Aberdeenshire based project has been awarded nearly ten thousand pounds by the lottery fund agency 'Awards For All'. COTAG (Community Off-road Transport Action Group) Aberdeenshire 4x4 Response has been awarded nearly ten thousand pounds by Awards for All to pay for essential training and equipment.

COTAG has been developed with the support of Grampian Police and Grampian Emergency Planning Unit and aims to provide region-wide transport assistance to the emergency services, the local authorities and those charitable organisations which are called out to deal with civil emergencies on behalf of the public. Although not an emergency or rescue service itself, COTAG's specialty lies in providing a reliable 4x4 logistics resource at times when regular arrangements are at full stretch or are dealing with difficult driving conditions.

COTAG-Aberdeenshire was formed in July 2007 by Les Forbes, Colin Robb and Tony Tipping, all former crew members of its sister group COTAG-Moray. The COTAG organisation was the brainchild of the former Chairman, Alan Stevenson. It has a string of 'firsts' to its name including being the first UK 4x4 response team to attain charitable status.

Typically, COTAG's tasks would be of a "fetch and carry" nature and may involve the movement of personnel, equipment and supplies. Operations might include delivery of urgent medical supplies to families living in remote areas, assistance during search operations over rough terrain or remote areas and general assistance to the emergency services during periods of heavy snow or rain.

COTAG-Aberdeenshire Team Leader Tony Tipping said:
"The £9,990 grant from Awards for All is vital to the development of COTAG-Aberdeenshire and will be used to purchase training courses, personal protective clothing, vehicle markings and HF/VHF radios for new volunteers. Our core expertise is, understandably, off-road driving, but all crew members are diversely trained.

To be considered operational all volunteers must pass tests in Advanced Driving, Advanced Off-Road Driving, HSE First Aid, HF/VHF radio, and Child Protection. All members have also been through the Enhanced Disclosure Scotland process and been vetted by Grampian Police, as well as providing personal references and passing an interview."

Superintendent Alan Smailes, Grampian Police, commented:
"We are delighted to be associated with this project and feel that it is an initiative which will be of value to the community. The team is well organised, highly motivated and has the potential to be of great service in Aberdeenshire, particularly during the winter months".

Donna McLean, Grampian Emergency Planning Unit (GEPU), said:
"I am very pleased to hear about COTAG's funding award. As past events in the UK have shown, there is always a need for first class volunteers. GEPU has supported COTAG from the outset and believe very strongly in the project. I think COTAG 4x4 Response will prove to be a very useful asset."

Press Release Ends

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