Sunday, January 31

Mountain Rescue - Spare Change?

Regular readers will be aware of my regular promotion of the UK's Mountain Rescue services. In particular I joined the MRT national support group Basecamp at the Outdoor Show last year. One of the fringe benefits, besides financial support for MRT, is that I receive Mountain Rescue Magazine each month.

I'll be frank - with it's targeted audience of MRT members much of the content goes straight over my head. However I can usually find something to saviour beyond the hard core technical items & intra team news.

This month there's in depth (no pun intended!) coverage from some of those involved in the Cockermouth flood rescues last November.

Local MRT teams were very actively involved over a ten day period - and all of it voluntary. Despite the teams forming an integral part of the offical joint emergency services response, many had to take took leave of absence from their day jobs and businesses to provide their time & expertise. And lets not forget prolonged absences from their families, with their own worries about the dangers involved.

Mountain rescue is one thing. Flood rescue whilst chest deep in rising water, urban & country debris included, is something else entirely.

I've picked out two items which never made the national news, but illustrate the contrasting challenges which MRT have to deal with, both during the emergency & afterwards.

"The only downside ….. a spurious call from a journalist who said she'd heard a report of someone injured on Skiddaw. The Keswick (MRT) team were suspicious from the start but that didn’t stop them deploying thirty people to the hill before the woman admitted she was just testing the system to see if mountain rescue could still respond to the mountains despite their commitment to the floods. I understand she has now been charged with wasting the time of an emergency service, something which carries a tougher penalty than wasting police time"
(Andy Simpson/Mountain Rescue Magazine Jan 2010)

"…the teams are now calculating the cost in terms of damaged or lost equipment… least two recently purchased Land Rovers suffered significant flood damage whilst carrying out rescue work in the Cockermouth & Ambleside floods"

'Nuff said I think.

If you want to contribute towards MRT you can do so by GIVING via their web site
or via Basecamp Facebook.

And if you want to keep up to date there's always MRT Basecamp's page on Facebook.

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