Mountain Rescue Associations

 

There are nine Mountain Rescue organisations, all of which belong to the national body, Mountain Rescue England and Wales. Although teams are independant of each other, they frequently work together and communicate on incidents which cross their boundaries. Some regions also have an operational role in that they appoint regional rescue co-ordinators who make operational decisions and use which ever team is deemed appropriate.

The regional role is to co-ordinate training amongst its member teams and provide a forum for the exhange of ideas and working practices.

Mountain Advice

 

Prepare and plan

  • Ensure you have mountain skills you need to judge potential hazard.
  • Think about the equipment, experience, capabilities.
  • Learn the basic principles of first aid – airway, breathing, circulation and the recovery position.

Wear suitable clothing and footwear

  • Wear suitable footwear with a treaded sole.
  • Clothing should be colourful, warm, windproof and waterproof and always carry spare.

Carry food and drink...

  • Take food and drink for each member of the party. High energy food such as chocolate and dried fruit are ideal for a quick hit.
  • In cold, wet weather a warm drink is advisable, and always carry water.
  • Of course, large quantities of water can weight heavy in the rucksack, so take a smaller water bottle and top up when you can.

...and the right equipment

  • A map and compass are essential kit.
  • A mobile phone and GPS are useful tools but don't rely on your mobile to get you out of trouble.
  • Take a whistle and learn the signal for rescue.
  • A torch is a must.
  • At least one reliable watch in the party.
  • Cllimbers and mountain bikers should wear a helmet.
  • Emergency survival kit comprising spare clothing.

Before you set out

  • Charge your phone battery.
  • Check the weather forecast and local conditions.
  • Eat well before you start out.
  • Leave your route plan including start and finish points.

On the hill

  • Keep an eye on the weather and be prepared to turn back if conditions turn against you.
  • Make sure party leaders are experienced. Keep together, allow the slowest member of the party to determine the pace.
  • Watch for signs of hypothermia, particularly in bad weather – disorientation, shivering, tiredness, pale complexion and loss of circulation.
  • If you prefer to go alone, be aware of the additional risk.
  • If you think you need mountain rescue, get a message to the Police (999) as soon as possible and keep injured/exhausted people safe and warm until help reaches you.

Dangers you can avoid

  • Precipices and unstable boulder.
  • Slopes of ice or steep snow, and snow cornices on ridges or gully tops.
  • Very steep grass slopes, especially if frozen or wet.
  • Gullies, gorges and stream beds, and streams in spate.
  • Exceeding your experience and abilities and loss of concentration.

Dangers you need to monitor

  • Weather changes – mist gale, rain and snow may be sudden and more extreme than forecast.
  • Ice on path.
  • Excessive cold or heat.
  • Exhaustion.
  • Passage of time.