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Topic - Mountain rescue UK vs alpine countries

MG - on 11 Jul 2012
In alpine countries (Switzerland, France, Italy) mountain rescue is largely done using helicopters as the default. Typically callout to reaching climbers is 15-20 mins. In the UK the default is landrover and foot, with helicopters only being called if readily available or it has been established first that there is a serious medical problem. Typically callout to reaching climbers is 1hr+. There is of course a cost associated with having helicopters so readily available that must be paid for either via insurance or taxes.

Are we hopelessly out of date and wedded to a old fashioned system of well-meaning but mostly amateur volunteers? Should we move to a professional helicopter system? Would having more helicopters available have other benefits outside mountain rescue?
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