In an emergency call 999 and ask for Police then Mountain Rescue
To mark International Women’s Day 2022, Scottish Mountain Rescue thought it would be a great idea to introduce some of our female team members, who share their experiences of joining and being part of a mountain rescue team in Scotland.
We asked Emma Atkinson from Aberdeen MRT about her experiences of mountain rescue to date.
I am currently a probationary member of Aberdeen MRT after moving to the area from Aviemore, where I was an operational member of Cairngorm MRT, so I’ve been involved with mountain rescue for the past 2 ½ years.
Why did you join mountain rescue?
I love being in the mountains. As an instructor I knew I had the skills and enthusiasm to be of use to folk requiring assistance in the mountains, so I wanted to put them to use! I also wanted to learn about SAR, develop new skills and gain casualty care experience.
My mum, Sarah, has been a member of CMRT since before I was born, so I grew up with her as my inspiration and knew that I wanted to get involved with MR at some point.
What is the best bit about being in MR?
The experiences – whether training or on a call-out – are all so varied and interesting, providing lots of different challenges. And of course the people, the humour and the shared interests especially.
What’s the most memorable thing you’ve done with MR?
My first lift in the Coastguards 189! Being lifted from Aviemore into Loch Avon and back to search for an injured climber. The flight was fantastic!
If someone were considering to join a team but they aren’t sure they have enough experience or knowledge, what would you advise?
Don’t hold back! Get in touch with your local MRT, explain your interests and your skills – rescue teams rely on having members from varied backgrounds with different skills to offer. They also provide you with training so you can develop in your less experienced areas. If you are not at a suitable level to join initially then ask for feedback on how you can work towards becoming a member in the future.
What occupation do you have outside of MR?
I am currently a full-time student paramedic but I continue to work as an outdoor instructor on a freelance basis.
How do you manage to fit the commitments to the team around your work and family life? The teams are flexible and understanding of other commitments in your life, which takes the pressure off responding to every call-out and attending every training. If it is something you are passionate enough about the over-all commitment required comes quite easily!
What do you enjoy doing outside of MR and work?
I am a keen mountaineer, climber and surfer. And have recently discovered a local cocktail bar that does an amazing Old Fashioned – so there is that too!