/ Mountain Rescue around the world

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teh_mark on 10 May 2019

I plucked this little quote from the MountainProject thread on the fall video that was posted here recently:

It's this attitude that gets rescues hurt or killed every year IMO.   My friend has a serious skiing accident and had to get SAR.   The SAR team consisted of the small town local sheriff and some volunteers.  They brought snowmobiles which couldn't get up the thin snow and trees.Then were forced to posthole thigh deep snow because they couldn't borrow flotation before starting the "rescue"  This is after repeatedly needing directions to get to a very well known trailhead and not being able to use the GPS coordinates.While their effort to help was respectable they really weren't equipped to deal with the situation and were surprised when the helicopter couldn't pick them off too... They eventually had to turn around because they didn't have overnight equipment to survive the storm.

If you think it's the A team coming to get you... I'm sorry but you're gonna be let down.

It mildly surprised me, I suppose because it's easy to forget that the UK has some fantastic, competent and professional (in attitude rather than status) MR members and MR teams, and from what I gather the 'service' is rarely short of excellent. I'm interested in hearing what everyone's experience of MR has been in the various other corners of the world. I understand that not everywhere can have a great rescue service on call 24h, and not everywhere needs that. Not looking to take a dig at anyone, just curious as to what the situation is around the world.

I only have personal experience of the PGHM in Chamonix, who I can confirm are both incredible and incredibly funny and cheerful people.

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jimmccall - on 10 May 2019
In reply to teh_mark:

Without intending to trivialise or distract from your question, as it’s a good question and will undoubtedly provoke some responses we will all benefit from on reflection... I just can’t help commenting that, if I was injured, I would appreciate any and all efforts being made on my behalf, regardless of competence... over the years I’ve occasionally observed, contributed, directly helped or responded independently. I still (healthily) doubt my abilities. I’ve not yet needed help ( but never say never) so cannot respond to your question directly, but wished to contribute to a thread I will keep an eye on. This is UKC at its best... questions to promote genuine sharing of experience to help us all to prepare for future climbing, without judgement but with consideration.

And you crafted a well worded and deserved thank you to our own MR services, to which we should all add our thanks, regardless of access or use. 

Well done, 

Jim

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Frank R. on 11 May 2019
In reply to teh_mark:

Well, I would not rather delve into the discussion of pro vs volunteer rescue service (as the lines are often quite muggled all over the world), but I would rather give my thanks to all the MR teams, be they pro or volunteer or semi-pro

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JoshOvki on 11 May 2019
In reply to teh_mark:

My only experience as a victim as needing MRT was in this country on a couple of training exercises (always worth contacting your local team(s) to see if they need any bodies for training, it makes it more realistic than using the people you see week in, week out). Even though I was absolutely fine and could have got myself out of there it was still a huge relief to see this red blob appear. Then they acted as perfect professionals, dealing with my issues (well I was dead for one of them, not much they can do to cure that) and getting me out of there. The amount of training that is needed is huge and never ending. The way they work as a team was impressive, and they were happy to have a laugh, including when I was packaged up (pelvic binder [really needed a pee after that was put on], full body vacuum splint, warm casualty bag and a stretcher) I was booped on the nose by a guy with a big bushy beard. Seeing this finger come towards you and just hearing "boop" had me in stitches and much more relaxed about being vertical, unable to move, with a drop to a river under me.

Outside of the UK had to have someone I was skiing with broke an arm and was picked up by PGHM. That was a whole new ball game. Dropped off on a helicopter, thrown into an arm vacuum splint, and picked up by the helicopter. Smooth, efficient, and very impressive, but they are paid professionals who are there all day. (Edit to add that isn't a bad thing, just give them extra time to train and work on efficiencies with a bigger budget and a helicopter)

Post edited at 08:53
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