About us

Scottish Mountain Rescue represents 24 volunteer Mountain Rescue Teams (including 2 Search and Rescue Dog Associations (SARDA), Scottish Cave Rescue Organisation and the Search And Rescue Aerial Association – Scotland (SARAA – Scotland) with over 800 volunteers. There are also an additional 3 Police teams and 1 RAF team.

Scottish Mountain Rescue

Scottish Mountain Rescue, founded in 1965 as The MRCofS, is a representative and co-ordinating body for member Mountain Rescue Teams in Scotland.  The organisation, an independently registered charity is administered by a volunteer Executive Committee, supported by three members of staff. 

We work on behalf of the General Committee whose voting members are representatives of operational Mountain Rescue teams and a selection of non-voting members with a partnership interest in mountain rescue across Scotland. 

We facilitate the provision of a civilian mountain rescue service in Scotland and liaise closely with the Scottish Government, Police Scotland and Fire and Rescue Services, Royal Air Force, Royal Navy, Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Scottish Ambulance Service, and other partner agencies involved in Land based search and Rescue. Scottish Mountain Rescue has charitable status and is funded entirely through voluntary contributions (registered Scottish Charity- number SC045003).

Scottish Mountain Rescue provides a range of services to Mountain Rescue Teams in Scotland, including:

  • The provision of National Team guidelines to assist teams in developing best practice and benchmarking for their training and operational deployments.
  • The provision of a comprehensive range of national training courses on subjects as diverse as avalanche rescue, search management and technical rope rescue. Vehicles - Moffat MRT
  • Scottish Mountain Rescue manages and coordinates a drugs license on behalf of Mountain Rescue Teams in Scotland.
  • The provision of insurance to Scottish Mountain Rescue Teams (excluding personal injury liability which is provided by Police Scotland)
  • Represents mountain rescue teams in Scotland at 'White conditions' Conditions - GLMRTUK Search And Rescue meetings
  • Supports attendance at International meetings such as the International Commission on Alpine Rescue
  • Maintains representation for mountain rescue teams in Scotland at the UK SAR Communications group and maintains involvement with UK SAR Band plan.
  • Maintains and facilitates the UK and Scottish Government grant  funding streams into Scottish Search Dog - SARDAMountain Rescue Teams.
  • Liaises with key funding organisations and manages National funding projects such as the supply of vehicles in association with the Order of St John and the provision of radio communications equipment.
  • Liaise with Scottish Ambulance Service for national medical product supplies.
  • Manage national risk assessment on behalf of teams.

The Teams

At the heart of mountain rescue in Scotland are volunteers: team members who give up their time to provide a free service to people who request assistance.

Mountain rescue teams are distributed across Scotland and deploy at the request of the Police to deal with a wide range of incidents.  The core capability of any team is to carry out search and rescue operations in challenging and, at times hostile environments in all mountainous and upland terrain throughout Scotland.

Many teams also support their local community resilience plans and in periods of extreme weather will provide a range of support functions as required. Volunteers save lives and are available 24/7, 365 days a year, in all winter and summer conditions.

The civilian, voluntary Scottish Mountain and Cave rescue teams, rely on charitable donations and bequests from members of the public as well as support from local and national businesses, in order that they may continue to deliver the service they provide.

Scottish Mountain Rescue, formerly known as The Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland, is a registered Scottish Charity – number SC045003