SAR organisations commit to exploring closer working relationships

mrew-jointworkingimage-copyMountain Rescue England and Wales (MREW), Lowland Rescue and British Cave Rescue Council have announced that they are to begin exploring closer working relationships.

At a meeting late in 2016, all three Chairs and their deputies met to explore implications and plan for this process. All three organisations share the same core aims: to locate, provide assistance and remove to a place of safety those who may need it.

Lowland Rescue, Mountain Rescue England and Wales and British Cave Rescue Council intend to explore avenues by which they and their respective member bodies may work more closely in pursuit of their mutual charitable objects. This includes a greater understanding of respective capabilities and increased cooperation across areas of mutual benefit and interest.

Paul Lewis MBE, Chairman of Lowland Rescue, said, “Lowland Rescue has, at a team level, had a long history of working together with many partner agencies and other volunteer groups. This is an incredible opportunity to unify and enhance pre-existing local arrangements between search and rescue volunteers, some of which have provided some of the most successful and important case studies and examples of best practice in recent UK emergency response. Lowland Rescue is proud to be a part of the expanding role volunteers play in missing persons search and emergency response in the UK, and this agreement with Mountain Rescue England and Wales and British Cave Rescue Council will only help us do better going forward.”

Mike France, Chairman of MREW, added, “Mountain Rescue England and Wales began life as the First Aid Committee of Mountaineering Clubs set up by members of the Rucksack and Fell and Rock climbing clubs in 1936. They were determined to improve treatment for those injured in the mountains, including searching for the ideal mountain stretcher. Today, 48 mountain rescue teams, comprising 3000 volunteer members, cover two-thirds of England and Wales, on call 24/7, 365 days of the year. Within many areas of search and rescue we use the same skills, requiring the same qualifications as our colleagues from the other voluntary rescue services, so it make sense to explore avenues by which we can work more closely in pursuit of our mutual charitable objectives. The work of Mountain Rescue in England and Wales can be found in any of your communities, using many transferable skills. We are about ‘So much more than mountains’.”

Dany Bradshaw, Chairman British Cave Rescue Council, said, “The first cave rescue team was formed in 1935 and today over 1000 volunteers in 15 teams belonging to the British Cave Rescue Council (BCRC) provide the underground search and rescue service for the thousands of caves, disused mines and other underground places throughout the British Isles. Teams only recruit from experienced cave and mine explorers who they then train and equip to provide a highly specialised emergency service for whenever it is required whether operating alone or as part of a multi-agency response to a major incident.”