Volunteers are the heart of Scottish Mountain Rescue (SMR). Our 24 Member Teams are made up entirely of volunteers (around 850 of them in total).
Our volunteers are highly respected within their communities and also nationally by the statutory emergency services, government, and the many who enjoy outdoor pursuits in Scotland. Without them, there would be no mountain rescue to respond to emergencies in our mountains and rural communities. That’s why the support of the people and companies that employ our volunteers is every bit as important as the volunteers they employ.
Employing a volunteer requires some sacrifice. You need to be willing to support volunteers. Ideally, you’d allow them to leave the workplace quickly in the event of an emergency.
However, there is no obligation for you to release and/or pay your employees for any period they are absent from work on Mountain Rescue call-outs. We recognise that releasing your employees isn’t always practical or possible. For this reason, we would encourage you either to make an agreement in advance, or to develop an emergency service volunteer absence policy for your whole business.
You may not be able to release your employee during work hours at all, but there might be other ways you can support them in volunteering, such as accommodating their training schedule or helping them manage fatigue. On occasions you may need to be aware of the impacts that some challenging rescues can have on volunteers.
There are many benefits to employing Mountain Rescue volunteers:
There are many benefits for your volunteer:
• New skills such as search management, navigation, first aid and medical response, specialised equipment experience, event organisation, fundraising, marketing, community and public relations skills.
• Transferable skills such as leadership and decision making, problem solving, drive, lateral thinking, ingenuity, and an ability to perform under pressure.
• Pride that comes from volunteering, which is motivating, rewarding and boosts self-esteem
• Greater respect from co-workers.
• Opportunities to make new friendships and expand networks, which could in turn benefit your business.