/ Mountain rescue becoming redundant?

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fmck - on 28 Sep 2013
At one time if you say broke your ankle you ended up waiting on a bunch of guys running up the path to rescue you. (Mountain rescue) These days it seems even the most simple of exercises are served with the rescue helicopter without assistance from the MR. I don't mean they don't have a use but it seems to of moved more to man power recovery of missing bodies or pulling a dog fallen down a gorge. I noticed in the paper that Arran mountain rescue are in line for an award for what. Helping with the island being snow bound not anything to do at all with mountains. I would congratulate them in a job well done but it sums up the situation with mountain rescue these days.
Maybe its time to call it something different like the "Response team" as we have long since moved on from its old title.
IainRUK - on 28 Sep 2013
In reply to fmck: Not at all, choppers don't fly in cloud.. never mind bad weather. I don't think we have moved on at all.
muppetfilter - on 28 Sep 2013
In reply to fmck: Just wait till Bristows get into full swing, they can't manage to get a regular safe flight service to the Rigs how the hell can they cope with the busy times in the hills.
I feel your comments about the thousands of amazing Mountain Rescue volunteers is unfounded and probably would merit you being pimp slapped up and down Keswick high street
IainRUK - on 28 Sep 2013
In reply to muppetfilter: Hold on Bristows are on BECAUSE seakings are on their last legs.. have you chatted to pilots? There are literally MANY incidents with seakings we don't hear about. I was out for a run with one pilot when he was called about a mayday on valley.. hydraulics failed and it just managed to land safely. He was all for privitisation, he just wanted a safe chopper. Its why I found those petitioning so funny, because I know 3 rescue pilots and all understood they needed new helicopters.
timjones - on 28 Sep 2013
In reply to fmck:
> At one time if you say broke your ankle you ended up waiting on a bunch of guys running up the path to rescue you. (Mountain rescue) These days it seems even the most simple of exercises are served with the rescue helicopter without assistance from the MR. I don't mean they don't have a use but it seems to of moved more to man power recovery of missing bodies or pulling a dog fallen down a gorge. I noticed in the paper that Arran mountain rescue are in line for an award for what. Helping with the island being snow bound not anything to do at all with mountains. I would congratulate them in a job well done but it sums up the situation with mountain rescue these days.
> Maybe its time to call it something different like the "Response team" as we have long since moved on from its old title.

I'd suggest that you read through the lists of callouts on the MRT websites rather then judging them by what you read in the papers. Most of their work still appears to involve good old-fashioned mountain rescue.
fmck - on 28 Sep 2013
In reply to timjones:

Like this on the walkhighlands website at the moment. Clear day, lovely weather, big chopper, no MR to be seen.

http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=36499
muppetfilter - on 28 Sep 2013
In reply to IainRUK: you may have run with one pulot but I fly on privately run helecopters over twenty times a year and its a daily occurrence to have flights cancelled and delayed due to mechanicals.
Instead of simply replacing the old helecopters the contract has been farmed out to a company that is still trying to recruit time of flight NDT techs online . Lots of new inexperienced crews with a push to generate profits will lead to only one outcome.... And I will give you a hint , it won't be a safer more efficient service.
Welsh Kate - on 28 Sep 2013
In reply to fmck:
So, how long do you think it would have taken Moira to get to hospital without the helicopter? Resources in MR and S&R are used with some degree of intelligence. On a fine day with excellent visibility, someone probably decided that sending in the canary was making best use of resources.
Welsh Kate - on 28 Sep 2013
In reply to fmck:
Oh - and how do you know the local MRT weren't on their way up anyway, in case the canary wasn't able to do the job?
IainRUK - on 28 Sep 2013
In reply to muppetfilter: But we have no money..
fmck - on 28 Sep 2013
In reply to Welsh Kate:

Exactly my point! But they do work in bad weather. I was involved in a rescue on the Ben in winter 1984. They did give up air lifting due to cross winds being so near to the cornice line. They did return once we were off in anything but clear weather. if they could do it in 1984 with the old Wessex whats wrong with todays choppers that cant fly in cloud?
muppetfilter - on 28 Sep 2013
In reply to IainRUK: We have lots of money, look how much they wanted to spend bombing Syria into freedom...
Less money will go into the frontline of the search and rescue and lots of people in the background will be making lots and lots of money.

I would love to be wrong in this but every privatised service costs more and dropped in service quality.
IainRUK - on 28 Sep 2013
In reply to muppetfilter: Sure it does.. but the point is someone else does the outlay.. that is why you privatise.
Welsh Kate - on 28 Sep 2013
In reply to muppetfilter:
This has been debated at length elsewhere, but how is the Coastguard S&R helicopter service poorer than that supplied by RN and RAF?
fmck - on 28 Sep 2013
In reply to Welsh Kate:

Do you really believe that? There was a rescue last winter where the MR got a position on their mobile and gave them a bearing for their compass. The eventually got picked up by the MR without them even leaving the landrover!
Welsh Kate - on 28 Sep 2013
In reply to fmck:
Do I really believe what?
JamButty - on 28 Sep 2013
In reply to fmck: This has detracted a bit into the Bristows debate, but you clearly misnderstand the role of MRT in many different aspects beyond the broken ankle scenario.
MRTs are also actively involved in floodwater rescues, snow rescues, missing persons and despondents, suicides, and are highly trained search advisors and managers who work closely with Police Polsars. Who also do you think decides where to send the helicopter?
You also can't get helicopters down caves.
MRTs are moving with the times especially with technology, so I would agree things have changed and will continue to change.
As someone else has said try reading callout info on the many team websites.
Andy DB - on 28 Sep 2013
In reply to fmck: As always don't believe everything you read in the papers / internet. As previously stated MR teams get involved in a lot of different things not just injured hikers. In some cases yes a helicopter alone can do the job but often rescues can be complex or the full facts aren't known so an MR team is backing up the helicopter. I have certainly spent a few rescues helicopter chasing but equally I have been to a few where the helicopter is on scene but often cant get the casualty to the aircraft.
Your comments about flying in bad weather show a bit of a naivety in that yes a seaking will fly through cloud and in reasonably strong winds but they won't operate close to the ground where they need viability to safely avoid obstacles.
Hopefully this demonstrates MR teams are still very much needed. What I think you are seeing is the media's reporting on far more integrated responses to mountain incidents.
timjones - on 28 Sep 2013
In reply to fmck:
> (In reply to timjones)
>
> Like this on the walkhighlands website at the moment. Clear day, lovely weather, big chopper, no MR to be seen.
>
> http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=36499

That's not a mountain rescue website that gives the whole picture of what they do, it's just a story of a single incident.

Try something like http://www.ogwen-rescue.org.uk/incidents/incidents.php it will give a far better overview of the valuable work that MRTs do.

fmck - on 28 Sep 2013
In reply to JamButty:
> (In reply to fmck)
> MRTs are also actively involved in floodwater rescues, snow rescues, missing persons and despondents, suicides, and are highly trained search advisors and managers who work closely with Police Polsars. Who also do you think decides where to send the helicopter?
> You also can't get helicopters down caves.

That's it really it's now become more across the board that makes the term "mosuntain" rescue seem past its sell date.


fmck - on 28 Sep 2013
In reply to timjones:

The first one at the top of the page i read. A member of the local MRT sustained an injury but was able to arrange for the helicopter to come and pick him up!

Pretty ironic really : )
timjones - on 28 Sep 2013
In reply to fmck:
> (In reply to JamButty)
> [...]
>
> That's it really it's now become more across the board that makes the term "mosuntain" rescue seem past its sell date.

Did your local MRT refuse to let you join ;)
Dan_S - on 28 Sep 2013
In reply to fmck:
> (In reply to timjones)
>
> The first one at the top of the page i read. A member of the local MRT sustained an injury but was able to arrange for the helicopter to come and pick him up!
>
> Pretty ironic really : )

I think you need to work on your comprehension skills. The entry reads that a climber, who was with a member of a local MR team sustained serious spinal injuries. I'd imagine the MR member assessed the situation being aware of the MREW Casualty care guidelines and with the potential for life changing spinal injuries, considered a fast "pack and go" rescue would lead to the best outcome for the patient. That seems a perfectly reasonable call to make.

You evidently have a bone to pick with MR, and this whole thread seems to be a thinly veiled trolling attempt.
Pete Potter - on 28 Sep 2013
In reply to fmck: Not wanting to sound like I'm insulting you but it is obvious that you know very little about MR.
I know of one team that does getting on for 200 incidents in a year and uses the helicopter for about one third of them as it is unable to help on the other two thirds.
This team does not make huge efforts to report yet another lower leg injury or carry of in the poring rain so unless you look on their facebook page you would have no idea of how busy they are.
The RAF on the other hand have a press office who report every little incident and often miss out large amounts of information about how much work the MR team has done before they get there or after they have left.
I think the rule is don't just look at forums and the press.
AlH - on 28 Sep 2013
In reply to fmck: What Pete Potter said...
Many MR Teams are hugely busy. If you had a clue how many shouts teams in N Wales, the Peak, the Lakes and all the mountainous areas of Scotland are involved in (my local team in Lochaber was out at 2 separate incidents on tuesday) you'ld eat your words. Poor vis can ground a helo/render them unable to assist. Another incident can cause them to be called away literally half way through a job if its more serious. A helicopter can't search ground in the way Teams and SARDA can and it can't do a stretcher carry on a wet miserable saturday night like a fortnight ago on Ben Nevis. Helicopters are great support but often no substitute for boots on the ground.
Snowdave on 28 Sep 2013
In reply to fmck:

Hmmmmmmm...

Where to start on ripping to original post apart!?
Ever watched the TV programme where the camera crew follow the SAR helicopter in Scotland? They follow the Coastguard, the Navy , and the RAF, and the amount of times that a land based MRT is on scene before the heli gets there is a lot! Having said that there are times where it shows that getting a heli in and out quickly is far better than using an MRT!

Also several years ago the local RAF heli got some climbers off Coire-an t-Snechda (picked them of the top/plateau) but then had to ditch in the Coire it's self because of very bad weather (howling blizzard) cue the heli crew and casualties getting rescued by the MRT! It also took several day to dig the heli out of the snow and that was after about a week of not being able to get to it...........I think it spent 2 weeks in the coire!

Slightly OT on the Bristows thing but............
On of my mates works in the RAF as an aircraft engineer (mechanic), the other as top level aircraft engineer (mechanic) for Bristows. I know what goes on and how they do the work (we talk about all things mechanical etc) and I'd trust the Bristows heli more than the RAF one! Also Bristows has the largest Eurocopter fleet at Aberdeen yet has had no problems with them due to better maintenance regimes!
fmck - on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to Pete Potter:
> (In reply to fmck) Not wanting to sound like I'm insulting you but it is obvious that you know very little about MR.

> I think the rule is don't just look at forums and the press.

I think your right my knowledge of the rescue service is very little. Albeit south of the border folks do seem to be very knowledgeable of the rescue services.
It seems at times in Scotland folks come here to use the rescue services like a flaming fair ground ride!


Slugain Howff - on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to fmck:

Weather limitations and technical malfunctions mean that our team relies on getting trained competent members on the ground - if the chopper is available to fly then that is seen as a bonus either to help in getting team members to the scene or in picking up a casualty.
jkarran - on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to fmck:

> Like this on the walkhighlands website at the moment. Clear day, lovely weather, big chopper, no MR to be seen.
> http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=36499

A quick helicopter ride to hospital or what, another 2Hr wait for a big team to get together and walk in then what, probably another 2Hr carry out for someone that needs medical treatment.

What on earth are you complaining about?
jk
jkarran - on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to IainRUK:

> Sure it does.. but the point is someone else does the outlay.. that is why you privatise.

We pay one way or the other. I'd rather pay the RAF to do it properly.

jk
roperat - on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to fmck:

Of five training exercises my local team has arranged with the RAF choppers we have only managed to get a flight once (when we went to the airbase), the other occasions were all cancelled due to mechanical faults or manning problems.

The other problem with relying on helicopters from the RAF and MCA is that if they get called out to sea that is the immediate priority and they will leave whatever job they are on overland if they are the aircraft best placed. And Air Ambulances are really limited in what they can fly in (no night or cloud flying at all).

in reply to jkarren

The problem is that the RAF would need to invest in new airframes immediately. Their priority at the moment is unlikely to be providing rescue cover for downed aircraft over the UK when they have a war to fight and shrinking budgets.
birdman - on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to roperat:

It's also important to note that the SAR provision by the RAF and Navy are primarily for Military assets and the service provided to the civillian world was seen as a secondary bonus, to ensure continuity of skills and support the civil contingency plans.

mp3ferret on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to fmck: I've added you to MREW's 'people we can't be arsed to rescue' list.

Take care on the hill.
roperat - on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to mp3ferret:

I didn't realise that we had such a list.

I'll PM you a few nominations then.
johncoxmysteriously - on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to fmck:

>but it seems to of moved

FFS. How can people write this?

jcm
fmck - on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to fmck)
>
> >but it seems to of moved
>
> FFS. How can people write this?
>
> jcm

Eh! "but it seems to of moved" vile language am sure.

mike kann - on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to fmck: To be fair, the case you cite is located in a reasonably remote spot. It'd take a fair bit longer to get a team together and then walk into the Loch Avon basin, especially if a chopper happened to be in the air. Not exactly a water tight example to use eh?
Slugain Howff - on 01 Oct 2013
In reply to mike kann:

...and mobilising team members into the Loch Avon basin from the Braemar side (Glen Derry) is not an unusual event.
Tom McNally - on 02 Oct 2013
In reply to fmck:

> I think your right my knowledge of the rescue service is very little.

No sh**t!!!
Valaisan on 02 Oct 2013
In reply to fmck:
> I noticed in the paper that Arran mountain rescue are in line for an award for what. Helping with the island being snow bound not anything to do at all with mountains. I would congratulate them in a job well done but it sums up the situation with mountain rescue these days.
>

What an absolutely ridiculous and unfounded comment. Over the past few years (4 of which I spent living there) Arran MRT have made dozens of rescues of live subjects (with and without helicopter support), without which some would surely of perished. I can copy your comment to some of the team members who I am sure would love to quote some fine examples of rescues in recent times, one springing to mind being a young girl and her Father caught near a summit in freezing, low viz and high wind conditions; either of which could surely of died if one were not sniffed out by the Rescue Dog and Handler and the other found by the Team.

AMRT richly deserve their Award and all the plaudits they get, and certainly not the unfounded flippant remarks you have leveled at them.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Si - on 02 Oct 2013
In reply to fmck: I think if you looked at the statistics you'd see that, helicopters feature in only a proportion of rescues. Llanberis MRT (of which I am a member) do a large number of rescues with grateful assistance from the RAF. The helicopters save LIVES but in the end alot of man hours are put in by all the teams in the UK. Of course as a final note all these man hours are put in by unpaid volunteers. Try breaking your leg and then you'd change your tune.
fmck - on 03 Oct 2013
In reply to Valaisan:

Just out of curiosity have Arran mountain rescue ever been involved in a crag rescue?
It used to be a common joke there that unless you were stuck up Goatfell or lost in the Heathfield you were done for. Sorry couldn't resist I imagine it has moved on from its old reputation.
Offwidth - on 03 Oct 2013
In reply to fmck:

Slagging a voluntary mountain rescue service is about as low as a climber can get.
Valaisan on 03 Oct 2013
In reply to Offwidth: Totally agree, especially as UK MRTs are hardly ever involved in rescue of actual climbers compared to hill walkers which of course is why there are so few actual 'crag rescues' (to answer fmck's last question at the same time). When an MRT is called out to rescue a hill walker on an actual 'crag' rather than a 'mountain' it is more than likely that the person has fallen to their death down a crag and is most likely to be found at the bottom. But, yes fmck, I have heard of an actual crag rescue on Arran a couple of years ago, involving a hill walker who got lost and disorientated in the fog and started to descend off Cir Mhor toward Glen Sanox via the Saddle, missed the actual path (which is steep enough anyway) and ended up a couple of meters down from the top of a wall, scared to death, neither being able to ascend or descend and utterly Crag fast. He was rescued to live another day!
fmck - on 03 Oct 2013
In reply to Valaisan:

A hillwalker lost the path then got terrified wasn't quite what I had in mind. Hey ho suppose they could if need be. Surprising how much climbing goes on there that this hasn't happened in the past.
Slugain Howff - on 03 Oct 2013
In reply to Valaisan:
> (In reply to Offwidth) Totally agree, especially as UK MRTs are hardly ever involved in rescue of actual climbers.

You've got that one wrong.



Valaisan on 04 Oct 2013
In reply to Slugain Howff:

Examples please.

Please bear in mind that my point was a general one and based on number of hill walkers verses climbers rescued in percentage terms, if that wasn't clear.

If your example(s) constitutes 1 climber rescued to every 100 hill walkers your finer point has little impact on my general one.
Snowdave on 04 Oct 2013
In reply to Valaisan:
> (In reply to Offwidth) Totally agree, especially as UK MRTs are hardly ever involved in rescue of actual climbers compared to hill walkers


It depends on the MRT's area and the time of year!

Cairngorm MRT in winter will be rescuing more climbers out of the Northern Coires than walkers! (I've seen several & know MRT members up here) However an MRT in a flatter area of the UK in summer time will most defo be rescuing more walkers!

Some people really need to get their facts right before they shout their mouths off......you just end up showing your ignorance!
Dan_S - on 04 Oct 2013
In reply to Valaisan:
> (In reply to Slugain Howff)
>
> Examples please.

Edale MRT has since 99 (stats on their website) gone out to around 20 fallen climbers a year out of around 100 callouts compared to 20-30 hill walkers.

That's a reasonable percentage of jobs...

What you might refer to as "crag" work encompasses skills that are entirely transferable to steep ground where the outcome of a fall for the rescuers would be serious, so these skills are applicable for anything from getting down to a car that has rolled down a bank to reaching a walker who's slipped into a stream bed.
Scomuir on 04 Oct 2013
In reply to Valaisan:
> (In reply to Slugain Howff)
>
> Examples please.
>

SMC journals used to include MRT incidents. You'll find all the examples you want/need.
Jimbo C - on 04 Oct 2013
In reply to fmck:

It's wonderful that we have rescue helicopters that can quickly get people in desperate need of care to a hospital (and in some cases people who aren't that desperately ill/ injured but were sent away in the chopper just in case).

I don't think that this detracts from the usefulness of a ground based team of well trained people. For example, there are instances where MRT can get to a casualty before the helicopter and give much needed first aid.

Ever been involved in a stetcher carry? Twice, I've helped carry injured climbers to a waiting chopper from the base of Froggatt Edge. It took many volunteers from the crag, plus the MRT, plus the paramedics about half an hour, and was hard work. The MRT organised everybody and were extremely professional and competent. Without their help the injured guys would have been in a lot more pain and discomfort for a lot longer.

There are also situations where a helicopter is uneccesary and/or of no use. Friends of mine got 'stuck' with a large group of un-prepared walkers on Scafell in very poor visibility with snow storms approaching. They called Mountain Rescue who sent up a team and basically just helped them find the way to walk down. To all intents and purposes, they stopped about 15 people dying from exposure and a helicopter would have been no use at all.

They do all this for free, which reminds me, I must make a donation.
drunken monkey - on 04 Oct 2013
In reply to fmck: How many Mountain Rescues have you been involved in to be making statements like the OP?

There are some absolute feckin zoomers on this site at times.
Valaisan on 04 Oct 2013
In reply to Snowdave:
> (In reply to Valaisan)
> [...]
> Some people really need to get their facts right before they shout their mouths off......you just end up showing your ignorance!

I assume you are accusing me of 'shouting my mouth off' and being 'ignorant' then. If so, and on that assumption: I made a statement based on my own personal experience of call out numbers and types on the Isle of Arran where I lived. I invited examples that may differ with my view or alter my opinion on a general UK-wide basis. On the one hand you were kind enough (as were a few others) to give me some specific localised MRT stats which trended differently to my experiences but on the other; you, for some reason, decided it was a reasonable after thought to suggest I was 'shouting my mouth off' and 'ignorant'.

I was of course neither shouting my mouth off nor ignorant, certainly not where it concerns Arran MRT rescues but I will accept that my UK-wide knowledge of the stats is wholly ignorant - which is why I asked for examples.

There's a polite way to point out someone might be demonstrating some ignorance; and then there's your way.

Cheers SnowDave.

fmck - on 04 Oct 2013
In reply to Valaisan:

Yawwwwn!

I remember when they used to be a boys club that hung out in the Heathfield bar. Once in winter 1982 it was phoned in we were over due home just stayed overnight on the saddle. When I got home I was told the mountain rescue team were out looking for us. As it turned out I found out later they drove up to glen rosa campsite then the camping spot in Sannox before going "home". They certainly have moved on from their old days: )
Valaisan on 04 Oct 2013
In reply to fmck:
> (In reply to Valaisan)
>
> Yawwwwn!
>
> I remember when they used to be a boys club that hung out in the Heathfield bar...They certainly have moved on from their old days: )

Good point on both counts: I guess it has moved on as inevitably many things do as they seek to improve, and:

Yes; I was 'Yawwwwning' at my own reply half way through:-)

Snowdave on 04 Oct 2013
In reply to Valaisan:
> (In reply to Snowdave)
> [...]
>
> I assume you are accusing me of 'shouting my mouth off' and being 'ignorant' then. If so, and on that assumption: I made a statement based on my own personal experience of call out numbers and types on the Isle of Arran where I lived. I invited examples that may differ with my view or alter my opinion on a general UK-wide basis. On the one hand you were kind enough (as were a few others) to give me some specific localised MRT stats which trended differently to my experiences but on the other; you, for some reason, decided it was a reasonable after thought to suggest I was 'shouting my mouth off' and 'ignorant'.
>
> I was of course neither shouting my mouth off nor ignorant, certainly not where it concerns Arran MRT rescues but I will accept that my UK-wide knowledge of the stats is wholly ignorant - which is why I asked for examples.
>
> There's a polite way to point out someone might be demonstrating some ignorance; and then there's your way.
>
> Cheers SnowDave.


Looking at your climbing experience (over 20yrs) and your personal website (radius-ski) I would have thought that you would have (should have) the brains to NOT make such a sweeping statement (about MRTs) and the wherewithal to know where to find the info!

In this easy day of instant info just look at the sites for the individual MRTS or in Scotland search for the MRT magazine "Casbag"............

Some people..
Snowdave on 04 Oct 2013
In reply to drunken monkey:

> There are some absolute feckin zoomers on this site at times.

+1

Defo agree.
Valaisan on 04 Oct 2013
In reply to Snowdave: I would if I had the time, but with people like you on the thread I don't need to because you know all the answers.

And now you've pointed out that because I have over 20yrs climbing experience and a sport orientated website I should have a brain, I shall go and see if I can find it as I wasn't aware that I ought to have one!
Valaisan on 04 Oct 2013
In reply to Snowdave:
> (In reply to Valaisan)
> [...]
> "...you would have the brains to NOT make such a sweeping statement (about MRTs)..."

Thanks for the advice. First, am I correct in saying that the 'sweeping statement' you are referring to that I made is this one?

"...UK MRTs are hardly ever involved in rescue of actual climbers compared to hill walkers..."

If so, ok, I was being a bit over-zealous in my choice of language, I think the offending words being 'hardly ever' but I unconsciously corrected myself a bit after that with 'compared to hill walkers', which when I wrote it was my rather clumsily put point.

So I've done the research you advised me to do and here we go:

Mountain Rescue England and Wales Summary Report 2012 (second edition)
Covering MRTs in the Lake District, Mid Pennine, NE England, North Wales, Peak District, Peninsula, SW England, South Wales and Yorkshire Dales.

Page 4 - using the Incidents data rather than Subjects there were of the 100% of incidents recorded:

Hill Walking (Winter)DoE 0.1%
Hill Walking (3-season) 67.4%
Hill Walking (Winter) 4.1%

Rock Climbing (Roped) 3.8%
Rock Climbing (unroped) 1.0%
Rock Scrambling 5.5%

You can download it here: http://www.mountain.rescue.org.uk/information-centre/incident-statistics

In Scotland what I could find out was as follows but only for 2011 from the Scottish Mountain Rescue, Glenmore, Aviemore, Inverness-shire Incident Statistics Report on this URL: http://www.mountainrescuescotland.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Annual-Report-2011-v5Final.pdf

Page 10:

Table 3: Number of Incidents in each Mountaineering Activity Category:

Activity Number of incidents
Hillwalking Summer 242
Hillwalking Winter 61
Rock Climbing 13
Snow/Ice Climbing 33
Scrambling 4
Mountain Rescue 2
Others 6
Total defined 361

Hillwalkers 83.93% of total
Climbers 12.74%

So, I humbly apologise for using the words 'hardly ever' in my unjustified and opinionated sweeping statement, but I am glad to see that my initially unsupported underlying point that MRTs rescue vastly more Hillwalkers than Climbers on an annual UK-wide basis was not far off.


Hillwalker - on 04 Oct 2013
In reply to fmck: The team I belong to was today called to rescue an injured male who phoned with his location on the hill. We mobilised and after an hour or so reached his location only to find he wasn't there. He was not able to give any further precise information as to his whereabouts.

Another two hours of searching located him about 2 miles from where he said he was. An Air Ambulance was requested, attended and transferred him to hospital.

A fairly typical event which I suspect answers the OP's question. MR is still needed and busy, and always will be.
ads.ukclimbing.com
alan wilson on 04 Oct 2013
In reply to Valaisan: Is that surprising given the numbers involved in these activities, ie how many folk walking inthe hills compared to actually climbing the crags on any given day ?
T_Mac - on 04 Oct 2013
In reply to alan wilson: I think you may have slightly missed the point Alan, Valaisan was merely pointing out that his previous post, whilst potentially over zealous in wording was in fact, pretty damn accurate. I should imagine nobody would be surprised by the fact that MRT are called out to more walkers than climbers. It stands to reason given that (I would hazard a guess) there are far more people involved in hillwalking than roped climbing accross the UK.
fmck - on 04 Oct 2013
In reply to Hillwalker:

I hazard a guess the rescue chopper was unavailable or as some folk on here who belittle its efforts couldn't?
Snowdave on 04 Oct 2013
In reply to Valaisan:

I'm glad that I made you go and do some research.

But as I stated in an earlier post that season and terrain can influence things, in fact those stats back me up as well!!!

Hillwalking Winter 61 incidents

Snow/Ice Climbing 33 incidents

In winter time in Scotland over 50% of the call outs are for climbing!!

See, thanks for proving me right!!!
Valaisan on 04 Oct 2013
In reply to Snowdave:
> (In reply to Valaisan)
>
> Hillwalking Winter 61 incidents
>
> Snow/Ice Climbing 33 incidents
>
> In winter time in Scotland over 50% of the call outs are for climbing!!
>
> See, thanks for proving me right!!!

Ummmm, no. Cherry picking stats is just misrepresentative. I wasn't debating Winter only call-outs in Scotland. My comment was refering to a UK-wide Annual average, all seasons, everywhere, all forms of climbing and hill walking. The complete stats largely support the point I originally made (I accepted in hindsight) clumsily.

If your subsequent point is that in Scotland in the year from which I drew the stats approx' 50% of all winter call outs were to rescue climbers, then you would again be wrong: I'll use the figues you picked;

61 winter hillwaking incidents
33 winter climbing incidents

94 Total incidents of which 35.10% were climbers and 64.90% were hillwalkers. The percentage representation should be of the total cohort when you state "of all winter call outs", surely?



roperat - on 04 Oct 2013
In reply to fmck:

No one is belittling the helicopters or aircrew, merely stating the facts as we see them.
Have you ever looked for anyone from an aircraft? It's bloody hard to do even if the precise location is unknown, so in this case the aircraft was probably unlikely to be any use in the first instance.
Snowdave on 04 Oct 2013
In reply to Valaisan:
> (In reply to Snowdave)
> [...]
>
> Ummmm, no. Cherry picking stats is just misrepresentative. I wasn't debating Winter only call-outs in Scotland. My comment was refering to a UK-wide Annual average, all seasons, everywhere, all forms of climbing and hill walking. The complete stats largely support the point I originally made (I accepted in hindsight) clumsily.
>
> If your subsequent point is that in Scotland in the year from which I drew the stats approx' 50% of all winter call outs were to rescue climbers, then you would again be wrong: I'll use the figues you picked;
>
> 61 winter hillwaking incidents
> 33 winter climbing incidents
>
> 94 Total incidents of which 35.10% were climbers and 64.90% were hillwalkers. The percentage representation should be of the total cohort when you state "of all winter call outs", surely?

Was waiting to see if you picked up on the %.......

As I said in earlier posts the MRT area and season makes a huge difference!
even a 35% of climbers rescued as you put it is a large chunk!

If you were to base funding etc on the UK annual average which you say is what 12%? then there would be a shortage of funding in the winter months in Scotland and a lot of dead climbers!

You can't look at a sweeping generalisation, and I stand by the facts that season and MRT area make a huge difference to the % of climbers rescued compared to hillwalkers. as you have proved with the facts that you supplied from Cairngorm MRT.

35.1% of all callouts in winter (between the climbing and hillwalking sections) were climbers rescued by MRT in a winter season!
fmck - on 04 Oct 2013
In reply to roperat:

Read the start of the thread. Yes they do! End.........
Valaisan on 05 Oct 2013
In reply to Snowdave: What on earth are you blethering on about!
roperat - on 05 Oct 2013
In reply to fmck:

Yes they do what? Pick people up?
Yes they do, but the Cairngorms example is fairly atypical, the visibility was excellent, the location remote and the aircraft based relatively close. Even in these perfect conditions, when the aircrew found the casualties, they marked the spot with smoke (it isn't just for wind speed and direction).


Now crawl back under your bridge and don't rely on Highland Emergency for your information.
fmck - on 05 Oct 2013
In reply to roperat:

Its about as low as you can get a climber slagging off the air rescue as only a good weather rescue facility. I'm sure the smoke flare was probably not all that necessary but more following a protocol that gives the safest rescue. Not just thinking on your feet.
fmck - on 05 Oct 2013
In reply to Valaisan:

If you read a couple of posts earlier "snowdave" added himself to the "feckin zoomers"
Carolyn - on 06 Oct 2013
In reply to fmck:

Eh? You make less sense as time goes on. It what way was roperat "slagging off" air rescue?

Personally, I'd be happy if MRT was redundant. Less disturbed nights, more time to climb. But the reality for us is it's getting busier - yes, more "walkers" than "climbers", but a number of those walkers have strayed from the path onto crags, and are technical crag rescues, so it's not a clear line.

But there are limitations to choppers. We've had them fly in appalling weather when the casualty's got a time critical injury and an awkward position, and they've done an amazing job. I've had discussions with ARCC and the crew when it's been borderline flying conditions, or a case of prioritising between incidents (what's the weather like? How severe are the injuries? Is there a doctor on scene and what's their view?) And for the last patient I can think of who was flown out by a Sea King, the team still had to raise them out of a gully first with a technical rope system, as there was too much loose rock to winch safely direct from the stream bed.
Srick - on 06 Oct 2013
In reply to Snowdave:

Snowdave,

Ride the horse till it dies, then keep riding some more! Itís just the RAF's way. Especially on my Sqn. But we make do with what we have. I do hope your statement was not about the skill of engineers, as a technician still on his apprentiship can be no match for an experienced licensed engineer.

Jkarran,

The problem the RAF has at the moment, is that I personally think we are so under manned I really would prefer the SAR just to be privatized as a result, and send the manning to operational unit where the manning and resources are very much needed. If we voted in a government that spent more money on our armed forces, to let us have the privilege to serve our country even more than defending it, then I whole heartedly agree with your statement. But is this what our country wants? to spend more money on its armed forces? I'm seeing less and less support for the forces on a daily basis. But thats a question for another thread.

Roperat

I think youíve nailed it on the head. The Seaking was, and still is an amazing airframe. Itís just run out of hours and really needs a change. Itís been a tired horse for a while, its time. This will be the reason for view on its reliability. Cant blame the SAR boy's for that.

As I scrolled down through this thread, I noticed some one mentioning Syria/budget. Dude, itís a thread about MRT... Glad to be serving you, ******.

Going back to the original topic in hand, I disagree, i think we still need mountain rescue teams. I hope to join one within the next couple of years, But i can understand your view.
Snowdave on 06 Oct 2013
In reply to RichardAWatson:
> (In reply to Snowdave)
>
> I do hope your statement was not about the skill of engineers, as a technician still on his apprentiship can be no match for an experienced licensed engineer.


Sorry if it seemed that way, it would be too cruel to compare two totally different skill levels, more to do with the unfortunate position of the RAF having to "made do & mend" re the Seakings.

Nice to hear some sense from an RAF chap, hope you manage to join an MRT as they are a sound bunch!
zacow on 06 Oct 2013
In reply to fmck: If you look at the time on the website you will see that most of the team would be still at work. A number of us attended for the incident but due to the nature of the casualties injuries it was more prudent to use the helicopter. The fact his climbing partner was a local MRT member made it all quicker as he could talk the cab in directly.
fmck - on 06 Oct 2013
In reply to roperat:
> (In reply to fmck)
>

>
>
> Now crawl back under your bridge and don't rely on Highland Emergency for your information.


As ironic as it is I watched one recently that had them saying it was a Goatfell rescue when you could clearly see Goatfell on the other side of glen rosa. If they had AMRT present at least they would of had correct details although it was a fast and successful rescue without any help outside.
Hillwalker - on 08 Oct 2013
In reply to fmck:
> (In reply to Hillwalker)
>
> I hazard a guess the rescue chopper was unavailable or as some folk on here who belittle its efforts couldn't?

The Air Ambulance was available, but they don't do searches! Once found and four hours after the injury it turned out and airlifted him to hospital. It couldn't land anywhere near him so the team carried him to the helicopter.
drunken monkey - on 08 Oct 2013
In reply to Hillwalker: Good point, which is worth noting. An air ambulance is a terrific asset. IF it can get to the casualty.

Its also worth noting (without being disrespectful) that not all winchmen on RN/RAF/Coastguard SAR choppers are mountaineers.
chris.a.22 - on 08 Oct 2013
In reply to fmck: I cant belive the drivel you posted try joining your local M R team if you are compident and skilled enough to be accepted, then be prepaired to be called out 24h a day 360 days a year possably putting your life at risk and often loosing there pay during working hours to rescue someone you have never met and on top of that have know it all muppets slagg you of with ill informed opinions that should be kept to themselves!
ads.ukclimbing.com
garycrocker - on 08 Oct 2013
Well said. Check any MRT call-out log. They are forever walking people off hills or locating casualties for helicopter evac. The list of call-outs for teams in even modestly mountainous areas such as that covered by the Longtown team in the Black Mountains is huge. They still do an amazing job and as mountain users we should be thankful that such incredible 'professionals' are there to help us out when we need it most. I say 'professionals' because they are volunteers providing a professional level of service.
Snoweider - on 09 Oct 2013
In reply to fmck:
I'm a member of Arran MRT but I'm posting here as myself, definitely NOT on behalf of the team.
The team are unusual in that they don't actively publicise the callouts they attend except through the local press. compared to some Scottish teams we are relatively quiet, but last year was our busiest ever, and this year looks to be similarly busy. Generally a diverse range of callouts, almost entirely but not exclusievlye mountain related, from lower leg injurues to missing persons, and yes, injured rock climbers. Helicopters have certainly changed the way things are done in some cases, but there is no substitute for people on the ground. Choppers are not always available, the weather is problematic, or limited in their effectiveness (eg missing person in bad weather).
The big snow was a unique event (hopefully) and the team are up for an award after being nominated by a member of the community. The response to the big snow was a multi agency action that was co-ordinated by Arran resilience. The team offered their services as part of this action, as one would expect in a close knit community under threat from unprecedented weather conditions. The team had specialist equipemnt and skills that were beneficial in reaching trapped vehicles in the storm, and remote properties for many days after the event. Many individuals and organisations went above and beyond during this time period, and it was the overall community response that deserves recognition. Arran MRT rightly are proud to be part of this. Their nomination for the STV award has given them the opportunity to promote the wider work of Arran resilience and also MRT.
For a summary of the work of Arran Resilience during the snow event read this: http://www.arranresilience.org.uk/eps-award/
Brian Smith 84 on 12 Oct 2013
In reply to fmck: MRTs are far from redundant... not only do they do a fantastic job across all our mountainous areas, but they also provide a vital service to the police in urban and rural searches as well.

The rescues carried out by the helicopters of the RAF/Navy and Coastguard are amazing and have saved countless lives mainly down to the speed at which they can access and transfer a casualty but also the speed at which they can cover a search area especially using thermal imaging. However, they are not the perfect rescue package some would have you believe.

Helicopters can not fly in all weathers (although the military crews do push it pretty hard!) The sea kings are limited in cold weather by a lack of anti icing on the rotors and the coastguard are limited by tighter flying restrictions and horrendous downwash!! Furthermore in difficult rescues in hard to reach areas, the winchmen are limited in their options because they are, for the majority, not mountaineers. This is not meant to dismiss these guys' efforts, I have worked with them on numerous occasions and have been very glad of their assistance and have seen first hand the incredible things they do on a daily basis. However the MRTs around the country are not limited by weather (except for perhaps the very strongest of winds) and will go out when all bar the craziest of mountaineers have retired to the pub.

The other thing the RAF MRT's provide is the post crash management response for the UK. They cover both civil and military aircraft including those yellow helicopters (yes they have crashed and probably will again!) and this is a role governed by the Chicago convention.

The volunteers of Mountain Rescue across the UK are some of the finest people around and should be celebrated for their efforts, not dismissed as out of date or redundant because of another asset that compliments rather than replaces them. Yes the role has widened over the years but their main job is still in the hills and to change the name from MRT to "Response team" or something more generic not only doesn't do them justice but in my view ignores the service's history.
tobykeep - on 13 Oct 2013
JamButty - on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to tobykeep: yep bad day in Ogwen valley yesterday, symphathies to all involved, but good jobs by OVMRT and RAF MRTs


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-north-west-wales-24507504

Brian Smith 84 on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to Valaisan:

It is also worthwhile pointing out that the hillwalking stats can be misleading. If a "walker" gets lost and becomes crag fast or worse falls over steep ground or into any "technical" ground it still shows up as a Hillwalking statistic.

This does not mean that the MRT's did not have to use technical rescue or very difficult extractions. Furthermore many climbing related accidents are quite straight forward (extraction wise) as the casualties are often led at the bottom of their chosen climb and require nothing more than first aid and a straightforward carry out or simple lower to easier ground.
JamButty - on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to fmck: to lighten the mood on this thread, try being a SAR pilot yourself.....

http://www.bbc.co.uk/drama/rockface/game/main.swf

scarface - on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to fmck:

I think every person who enjoys the outdoors is grateful that the MRT and associated volunteers in other rescue services (caving, dogs, etc)willingly give up their time to train, turn out in all weathers at all times of day and night, to rescue the lost or injured, to recover bodies or assist emergency services with accidents and emergencies.

Helicopters can't always fly, medical services can't always reach inaccessible areas.

To denigrate these fine people in any way is to do them a huge disservice.

Shame.
davidbeynon - on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to JamButty:
> (In reply to fmck) to lighten the mood on this thread, try being a SAR pilot yourself.....
>
> http://www.bbc.co.uk/drama/rockface/game/main.swf

I enjoyed that. I found myself leaving the casualties and abducting the cattle.
Katie86 - on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to fmck:

I think you must take all your information from The Daily Mail. I have many friends in MR teams up and down the country. MRT are gold. They give up their time and many have understanding employers that let them leave work to answer a call, or crawl out of bed at silly hour. I find you incredibly ignorant.

Helicopters are not always available.
They cannot fly in high winds.
Some locations are inaccessible.
A huge amount of MRT work is searching this includes missing people. People who go missing are hard to find because they don't what to be - they are not gonna sit and wave at a helicopter.
Look at Langdale, Wasdale, Ogwen, Llanberis, Kinder...MRT.

I hope to God you never need rescuing. Why don't we ditch the RNLI at the same time? Britains richest charity- lets just use the coast guard!!!
Katie86 - on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to scarface:

I agree with you 100%
Cuthbert on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to Katie86:

Aye that's all very good but what happens if you get ten men down on Lochan Ridge?
fmck - on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to fmck:

My is this still going. He he!

Personally I believe there should be a taxi meter on board the rescue chopper that you stick your chip n pin card into.
Katie86 - on 24 Oct 2013
In reply to fmck:

Heaven help you if you ever need your Ass saving.
davidbeynon - on 24 Oct 2013
In reply to Katie86:

Heaven won't help if it's his neighbours ass, unless he has proof of non covetousness.
fmck - on 24 Oct 2013
In reply to Katie86:
> (In reply to fmck)
>
> Heaven help you if you ever need your Ass saving.

The very thought of being in a position that I might need divine intervention to stop my rectum being in danger is a tad worrying. From what I wont ask!

Bit off topic are we not? best return to topic and mention my bum no more.


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