We recognize that volunteering in a mountain rescue team is a major commitment for both volunteers and their families and we want our volunteers and families to know that support is there for them every step of the way.

Mountain Rescue volunteers are fully trained in line with their own team’s training programmes to handle the various situations in which they will find themselves, but that doesn’t mean they won’t find it physically and mentally exhausting at times.

As well as the physical challenges some situations can put extra pressure on volunteers. Some emergency call-outs may involve extraordinarily difficult circumstances, particularly when severe injury or loss of life is involved.

Families have a central role in supporting the local mountain rescue team and that’s something to be really proud of. However, being a family member of a volunteer can lead to some adjustments.

Without the support, encouragement and sacrifices of these family members, our volunteers wouldn’t be able to provide the community and those in distress with the help they need in an emergency. But, as family members, you may also need support at times.

What support is available?

All volunteers receive full training.

Scottish Mountain Rescue (SMR) has created a template booklet – Welcome to the Team, designed for family members (particularly for new members and their families) which tells them about what to expect when their family member volunteers.

Teams have the opportunity to personalise this template booklet for their own local use. Ask your local team for details.

In addition, SMR works with others to provide support for members of teams and their families in the following ways:

 

  • Lifelines Scotland where you will find useful information on staying well, and building personal resilience. This website is continuing to develop new content 2019-2020.
  • Employee Assistance Programme – This EAP service is made available to Mountain Rescue volunteers by Police Scotland and offers confidential advice and counselling to all volunteers and their immediate families at no cost – you will be provided with this contact number and username/password when you join a team. Volunteers also have a wallet card and fridge magnet.
  • Volunteers in Mountain Rescue Teams in Scotland are covered by insurance which helps provide assistance following accident or death during activities related to their volunteering – the team will provide details of the relevant insurance cover.
  • We are currently working to clarify access to an appropriate Benevolent Fund for volunteers and their families. We hope to have this in place by the end of 2019.

The local Team Leader or other team members will be able to connect volunteers and their families to the support systems that are available to Mountain Rescue (e.g. Police Scotland Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)).

You can also e-mail the Scottish Mountain Rescue Wellbeing Officer for further information at wellbeingofficer@scottishmountainrescue.org