Aberdeen MR

Aberdeen Mountain Rescue Team is based in Westhill, in the North East of Scotland. The Team was formed in 1964 in response to a growing awareness that there was a need for a more structured approach to the problem of search and rescue operations in the Cairngorms and lower hills of Deeside and Donside. The Aberdeen Team has a long association with the Order of St John going back over fifty years and the Team’s current Base in Westhill was purpose built by the Order for the Team and provides both garaging for the Team’s vehicles and training facilities for Team Members.

The Team is a voluntary organisation and is on call 365 days of the year providing a highly professional resource capable of tackling the most demanding search and rescue operations. When undertaking mountain rescue incidents, the Team works in close collaboration with neighbouring rescue Teams and on occasion the Team supports Police Scotland in low land searches in what can be challenging terrain.

Team members are drawn from a wide variety of backgrounds, but all have in common a love of the mountains and in many cases have an exceptional knowledge of the Team’s operational area. The Team prides itself on its professional approach to mountain rescue and this is maintained through a rigorous and structured programme of training covering all aspects of mountain search and rescue. This ensures that Team Members are highly skilled and competent as both mountaineers and mountain rescuers.

The Team’s main operational area covers the Cairngorms and Lochnagar. This is an exceptionally large area with a wide variety of mountain environments and potential hazards, and of course contains several of the highest mountains in the United Kingdom. The Team has two forward Bases located at Derry Lodge on the Mar Lodge Estate and at the Spittal of Muick on the Balmoral Estate. These Bases provide accommodation for Team Members during callouts and training and are central to ensuring the ongoing activities of the Team.

As volunteers all Team Members give of their time freely and membership of the Team demands a significant level of commitment in order to maintain the high level of preparedness and the skill set essential to undertaking successful search and rescue operations in what is often the most challenging of situations. In order to ensure the Team’s ongoing effectiveness, the Team continues to develop in both its range of capabilities and its professional approach to mountain rescue. The continued and increasing demand for the services of the Team, and the fact that all Team Members are volunteers, creates a very special set of circumstances and the commitment, enthusiasm and energy of Team Members has been central to maintaining and developing a highly effective and capable organisation.

Arran MRT

Arran Mountain Rescue Team currently has 28 members with a variety of skills and experience amongst us. The Team provides Search and Rescue assistance to walkers and climbers on the Isle of Arran which is located in the Firth of Clyde, off the West Coast of Scotland. Resilience work is also undertaken alongside all the other Emergency Services.
Initially a call is raised via Police Scotland and if necessary, a call-out is then initiated. Team members are contacted and assemble at the Team Base, briefed on the nature of the incident and then head out to the appropriate location(s).

The team is made up of women and men from all over the Island. Team members are all volunteers and are on call 365 days of the year giving up their time freely and without pay when an emergency arises.

The team is funded by a combination of grant-aid, public donations and monies raised via fundraising.

All team members are experienced hill walkers or mountaineers with a vast amount of local knowledge between them.

All Team members receive regular training in skills such as First Aid, Navigation, Ropework, Casualty handling and Helicopter familiarisation. This is achieved via a combination of formal courses, workshops at the Team Base and planned exercises out on the hills and mountains.

The running of the team is overseen by an elected committee who share the responsibility of managing the team. Elected members cover areas such as training, purchasing, evaluation and replacement of equipment, administration and fundraising.

New team members initially serve a twelve-month probationary period after which they are assessed and become full team members.

Arrochar MRT

Arrochar Mountain Rescue Team (AMRT) has 30 volunteer team members who are available 365 days of the year, to provide a mountain rescue service when requested by Police Scotland within the region formerly known as Strathclyde.

AMRT comprises of women and men from a variety of backgrounds and employment, brought together for the common purpose of a desire to assist with someone in distress on the hill and in the local area.

The team is most frequently deployed around the mountains of the ‘Arrochar Alps’ but cover a wide geographical area as diverse as Bridge of Orchy, Dunoon, Isle of Bute, Loch Fyne, Glen Fruin, Lochgoilhead and around Loch Lomond. Over the years we have supported our neighbouring teams in Oban, Glencoe, Killin and Lomond.

It was in the mid 1950’s when local farmer Johnny Paterson, assisted by his brother Charlie, was asked to form a group to deal with the increasing number of mountain rescues in the Arrochar area. Prior to this, as in the rest of Scotland, rescue had been on a more informal basis with the local farmers and shepherds responding as required. A Special Constable, Johnny was approached by the then Argyllshire Constabulary based in Dunoon to form a team with the rescue post being based in Succoth at the family farm.

Over the ensuing years, the Team began to attract volunteers drawn from a wider area and as numbers increased and training became more formalised with use of dedicated rescue equipment, the need for a team base was apparent and resulted in temporary storage space in local garages and an outdoor centre. In late 2002, the Team finally moved into the new Arrochar Mountain Rescue Post in Arrochar, a purpose built base funded by the Order of St John and with a fine view overlooking the Cobbler.

Under the ongoing leadership of dedicated Team Leaders and Deputes, AMRT has been a progressive and forward-thinking team, and building on its history has developed a strong ethos of Teamwork. There has been a focus on ongoing training, both as a Team and as individuals on specialised courses, to maintain and update mountaineering and medical skills. Also, participation in many Fundraising activities has served not only to finance the increasing operating costs but to strengthen the bond of teamwork and friendship within the Team; piloting the initial Peer Review process enabled engagement with other teams too. Additionally, several Team Members have made a significant contribution to the wider rescue community serving on SMR Executive Committee and with SARDA as dog handlers.

According to records the team has had in excess of 80 members over the years. Currently there are 26 members on the call out list including 4 dog handlers, 2 SARAA drone pilots and 7 probationary members.

Assynt MRT

Assynt Mountain Rescue Team works with the Police, Coastguard and other agencies in Sutherland and Caithness, volunteering to provide search and rescue support. The team can be on call any time, any day, and in any type of weather. All our volunteers share a love for hillwalking, mountaineering, rock climbing, snow and ice-climbing, caving and generally being in the outdoors.

Assynt Mountain Rescue covers many popular hills in Sutherland and Caithness, from Suilven, Cul Mor and Ben Mor Assynt, north to Ben Klibreck, Ben Hope and Ben Loyal. Although many of the mountains are not munros, they are often remote and challenging.

There are also some remote coastlines and sea stacks such as Old Man of Stoer.

We rely on voluntary support and funding to provide this service. We work out of two bases – our main rescue post is at Inchnadamph, and we have a mobile unit at Thurso.

The team was set up in 1976 following an incident on a local estate with a missing worker. As a result, a number of interested locals decided to try and set up some robust arrangements for search and rescue in the north. A meeting was called by the local policeman and with the help of some homebrew, the idea of a local MRT based in Assynt took root. Bill Ritchie became the first Team Leader.  Other team leaders have included John Ross, Phil Jones, Steve Heap-O’Neill, Willie Marshall and Graham McFadyen. The current team leader is Sue Agnew.

We currently have around 30 volunteer members, some of whom have search dogs and are part of the Search and Rescue Dog Association (SARDA). We train once a month throughout the year and are available 24/7 for searches throughout the year.

Borders SAR Unit

Border Search and Rescue Unit provide mountain rescue cover in the south east of Scotland, including the Lammermuir and Cheviot hill ranges. All members of the team are volunteers who live and work in the local community. We are on call to provide emergency assistance 24/7/365. Border SAR is affiliated to Scottish Mountain Rescue.

In 2004, the importance of civilian Mountain Rescue Teams were recognised when we were awarded some government funding for the first time. However, we still rely heavily on donations to provide a professional service, free of charge to those in need. The T8eam holds an annual sponsored walk on the first Sunday in October, and for the past couple of years, we have been bag-packing in Sainsbury’s Kelso during the Christmas period.

One of our busiest times each year is undoubtedly during the local common horse riding season, when the team provides emergency medical cover for Duns, Kelso, Yetholm, Coldstream and Jedburgh rideouts, as well as smaller events. We are always grateful to these events for the donations they make in return for this service.

Border SAR can be called out for a wide range of operations: a missing or crashed aircraft; overdue hill walkers; injured climbers; missing persons; fishermen washed away and even suicide recoveries. A wide range of techniques can be used, ranging from carrying the casualty off the hill to calling in a specialist rescue helicopter. 

The team is based in Kelso, Scottish Borders. Our “official” Mountain Rescue Post is based at the Police Station in the town, however because of space restraints our three rescue vehicles are held in our garage on the grounds of Kelso Racecourse.

The team was formed in 1963, and in 2013 we marked 50 years of continual service. 

Braemar MRT

Braemar Mountain Rescue team is registered charity helping provide rescue services in the Southern Cairngorms and Grampian area.

Braemar Mountain Rescue Team operates from two bases in the Cairngorm National Park. The team headquarters is in Braemar and we also have a subsidiary base in Ballater

Braemar Mountain Rescue Association was formed in 1965 by a group of local people who were concerned about the increasing number of mountain accidents and the resultant hardship and risk to local residents. Often with no mountaineering experience or proper clothing, the local residents were called upon to rescue others and all too often to carry home the bodies of those for whom rescue had come too late. These volunteers carried on a long tradition of local people giving aid to those lost in the mountains and from the outset they worked hand in glove with the local Police Mountain Rescue Team which had been formed some years earlier. This tradition is maintained today, the two Teams operating as one integrated unit with a joint management.

As well as our direct involvement in rescue work, which is now in the hands of a well-trained, well equipped and efficient team of almost 40 volunteers, the Association is involved in a number of related ventures. Among these are the provision of an emergency telephone at The Spittal of Glen Muick (due to increased use in mobile phones the emergency telephone at Derry Lodge has now been removed), the yearly programme of lectures, visits and static displays all of which further the cause of mountain safety and mountain rescue. The Team is also involved in providing assistance to Police Scotland in the search for missing persons wherever their expertise might prove useful.

The situation has changed dramatically since those early days. Mountain rescue is now a very sophisticated and expensive business, all the more so for a team like Braemar who attend in excess of forty incidents each year. 

Dundonnell MRT

Dundonnell MRT Area

Our area extends to 6,700 km2 stretching from Inverness to the west coast and from Invermoriston to Ardgay. We cover 41 Munros, including An Teallach and Ben Wyvis and 74 other hills of note. Besides large areas of dense forest and moorland we also serve several remote ranges including Fisherfield, the Fannichs, Glen Affric and Strathfarrar.

Our team and activities

We have 30 volunteers and another 8 in training plus some retired members on a reserve list. Besides being a multi-disciplinary team with specialist skills in mountaineering, first aid, Casualty Care, search management, and rescue techniques, we also help in low ground searches. Currently, we are undertaking more intensive training in retrieving casualties from river gorges. Members are trained to operate with both the S-92 and AW189 helicopters and we maintain a very good relationships with the HM Coastguard crews at Stornoway and Inverness, as well as Police Scotland, neighbouring teams and the Scottish Ambulance Service.

The number of callouts and their outcomes varies from year-to-year and is unpredictable but, typically, we have 25-30 callouts a year. 

Assets

We have 3 bases: at Dundonnell, Ullapool and Dingwall, the latter two each house a fully-equipped 4×4 rescue vehicle. Further 4×4 rescue vehicles are kept at Gairloch and Cannich. A 10-seater minibus, housed at Dingwall, is being replaced with a bespoke 4×4 command and control vehicle. 

Finance

Annual grants from the Scottish Government and Police Scotland provide extremely welcome core funding. However, allied with careful financial management, these have to be supplemented by our own fundraising activities to attract enough income to cover our full operating costs plus an operating reserve. We have also successfully undertaken project specific fundraising, notably to enable development of our new Dingwall base (2017), to replace two 4×4 pick-ups (2018), and new satellite phones and defibrillators (both 2019). 

Galloway MRT

Galloway MRT provide search and rescue services in Dumfries and Galloway and South Ayrshire. We are a team of highly trained volunteers operating from our base in Newton Stewart. We hold charitable status and rely on public support.

Team members have a desire to put something back into the area where we live and work, and we do this by providing a professional search and rescue service – free of charge! Members train once or twice monthly throughout the year covering all aspects of Mountain Rescue. This includes an annual joint exercise with other MR Teams in the south of Scotland – Moffat, Tweed Valley and Borders. Training out with the area includes Winter Skills training, which generally involves the team venturing into the Cairngorms.

The Team presently consists of 45 members with 36 being on the call out list. There is a wide range of expertise within the Team, from Mountain Guides to social hill walkers, which provides a breadth and balance of mountaineering and organisational skills. Members come from all walks of life – local government employees, police officers, teachers, students, mechanics, forestry workers, farmers, self-employed and retired to list a few. The age range for members is from 18 to 70.

We are also fortunate to have SARDA (Southern Scotland) members (Search and Rescue Dog Association) as part of our team. The dogs and handlers are of great benefit when the Team is involved in searches of the remote Galloway countryside and upland areas. The dogs allow the Team to cover larger search areas thereby reducing the time the casualty and Team are out on the hill. We also have three search drone pilots, SARAA (Search And Rescue Aerial Association) members, within the team and have purchased two drones to provide airborne search facilities.

Glenelg MRT

The Glenelg Mountain Rescue Association was originally established in 1973 by the late Dr Catherine MacInnes (the then local G.P.) to cover the Parish of Glenelg. It completed its registration as a charity in 1974.

Area covered

The Parish takes in the Glenelg peninsula on the West Coast opposite the Isle of Skye. It juts into Loch Duich, then heads East as far as the South side of the Saddle, taking in Arnisdale and stretching up to Kinlochourn and across to Barrisdale and Knoydart, an area of approximately 550 square kilometres. Some of the remote Knoydart peninsula is also covered by our colleagues in the Lochaber MRT because it is such a remote and complex piece of ground.

The Team can also be called to assist other local teams, typically Kintail, Skye and Torridon

The Team

The team was originally made up of shepherds, stalkers, forestry workers, a doctor and people who generally worked outdoors. This is still true but with a mix of mountaineers, roped access workers, boat masters and many other professions. There are normally 20 to 30 members on the team which is a very large percentage of the community considering the Parish has a population of less than 300.

Training

Frequent training sessions are arranged, from 4×4 driving courses to Casualty care, rope work and navigation. Training in conjunction with Bristows SAR helicopters is also practised. This year (2019) saw the introduction of a Team Drone Pilot (with others planned) through SARAA, training will also be given to team members as drone spotters/observers. A new drone with applicable equipment has now been ordered.

Glenmore Lodge MRT

We are Scotland’s National Outdoor Training Centre.  As one of sportscotand’s national centres, we have had a long and active history with mountain rescue.  Prior to the Cairngorm MRT being established, Glenmore Lodge was the focus locally for rescue operations. Today we continue to play an active role.

Given the centres proximity to the mountains, its role as a Coastguard SAR aircraft refuelling site and the expertise and local knowledge of the instructors; Glenmore Lodge maintains an operational rescue team with affiliation to Scottish Mountain Rescue.  

We are not your traditional rescue team and Cairngorm MRT remain the primary local call-out team.  In keeping with all MR teams, we are volunteers and in keeping with many businesses we are happy to accommodate our staffs voluntary time to support mountain rescue.  

We work closely with Cairngorm MRT and the Coastguard SAR aircraft.  We are typically in the vicinity when incidents occur or we can have small expert team quickly available to respond, equally many people walk through our doors asking for help.

As a national centre we aim to be a strategic partner for Scottish Mountain Rescue and frequently deliver bespoke training for mountain rescue teams across the UK, Coastguard aircrew and other emergency services.

As a national centre we seek to ‘Inspire Adventure’ and as a rescue team we are proud to be part of the voluntary response to save lives.

Hebrides MRT

Hebrides Mountain Rescue Team (Formerly known as HebSAR) is a voluntary organisation who are a member of Scottish Mountain Rescue. Hebrides Mountain Rescue are tasked by the Police, and perform a variety of roles, including mountain rescue, search and rescue, and community resilience. Hebrides Mountain Rescue work closely with other emergency services agencies, such as the Police, Coastguard, NHS, etc.

Hebrides Mountain Rescue are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and depend on public donations (Registered charity SC042363) to be able to provide the equipment, vehicles and other tools needed to operate as an efficient emergency service.

As a team, our objectives are:

  • To save lives in the Outer Hebrides.
  • To assist the wider community during emergencies.
  • To promote Mountain Safety.
  • To establish a culture of excellence in training.
  • To be proactive in embracing new technology.

Our primary role is as a land-based Search And Rescue Team, working with Northern Constabulary. Our secondary role is to support the wider community, this maybe during adverse weather or major incidents.

The team consists of 25 operational team members, aspirant team members and support staff. All members offer their time free of charge and are on call 24/7. They come from a wide variety of professions but share a passion for the great outdoors.

The team are dedicated, highly professional and skilled. To maintain these skills the HebMRT team train on the hill and in the classroom. Team members are proficient in Rope Rescue, Navigation, Off Road Driving, Casualty Care, Search Management, and Communications.

Killin MRT

Killin, Callander and District Search and Rescue Group is an incorporated Scottish Charity and operates as Killin Mountain Rescue Team. 

Established in 1968, the team has provided a volunteer rescue service for 51 years, from bases at Killin and Callander.

Our members, currently 55 strong, are available to assist members of the public who find themselves in difficulty on the mountains and remote areas in the northern part of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National park. Mountains such as Ben Lui, Ben More, Stob Binnien, Stuc a Chroin and Ben Ledi make the area very popular with hillwalkers both summer and winter. The West Highland Way passes through our area and is very busy, placing additional demand for assistance.

Rescue on the mountains is our core task, and we are fortunate to have members who work in the hills, live locally with good local knowledge and hill craft skills.  They are able to quickly get assistance to walkers and climbers in distress, especially in the challenging conditions we often face at night and during winter. We are grateful for the support provided by our colleagues in HM Coastguard SAR (Search And Rescue) helicopter service who can, weather permitting, assist in the recovery of distressed climbers in high and isolated locations.

We are increasingly getting called to incidents at tourist attractions which involves technical rescue and our rigging group is trained and equipped to IRATA standards, supplemented by members trained to an advanced first aid level. We embrace technology when appropriate and are equipped with infra-red cameras. We are currently investing in a drone with appropriate training for our pilots to search in difficult areas.

Our ethos is ‘there when needed’. Safe Trekking

Kintail MRT

Kintail Mountain Rescue Team are a charitable organisation consisting entirely of unpaid volunteers. The Team has a written constitution and is run by a committee elected from amongst our members. We have a typical membership of about 25 volunteers who live around the team area and have demonstrated the necessary skills and commitment.

Our role is to assist Police Scotland with their public safety role in wild and mountainous country. When someone is in trouble on the hills in our area, the police are called. If it requires a mountain rescue callout, we are alerted by SMS message or telephone call. We routinely work with Police Scotland, the UK Search And Rescue Helicopter Service (HMCG), RAF MRS and neighbouring MRTs in our search for the best outcome.

We organise our own training and co-ordinate our training standards with appropriate national bodies. Team members participate in the management and development of mountain rescue at national and international level. 

The team area stretches from Kyle of Lochalsh in the west to Loch Ness in the east and from Achnasheen in the north to Upper Quoich in the south.

Mountain rescue boundaries tend to be rather fluid but like most teams we have a core area that sees most of the incidents. For us, that core area is Glen Shiel with the Five Sisters of Kintail on one side and The Saddle on the other.

Low level incidents occur in all corners of our area. Beauty spots such as the Falls of Glomach and Glen Affric take people into wild country that may be beyond their experience.

Lomond MRT

Lomond is one of the busiest Mountain Rescue Teams in Scotland. Assisting walkers and climbers for fifty years, since its foundation in 1967. Covering an area of over 1000 square miles in one of the most popular mountain areas of Scotland. The Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park sees two million visitors a year, 60,000 walkers annually attempt the West Highland Way and Ben Lomond itself has over 30,000 walkers and climbers. As a charity, Lomond MRT depends entirely on fundraising to maintain its first class service. 

Thirty five voluntary full team members are available 24 hours a day 365 days a year to assist lost, ill or injured walkers, runners, cyclists, climbers and holiday makers within the region. Centrally located in a purpose built Rescue Post, in the village of Drymen, the Team is ideally situated to quickly respond to any emergency in its off road vehicles.

Members meet three times a month (midweek and weekends) to train in a broad spectrum of skills – such as advanced first aid, search management, casualty care, navigation, off road driving, radio communications and technical ropework. In addition to general rescue training, members are also committed to a series of essential fund-raising days, committee meetings and actual call outs.

The Team works closely with a variety of external agencies. Our search dog handlers are affiliated to SARDA Southern (the Search and Rescue Dog Association); Police Scotland initiate our call outs; the Loch Lomond Rescue Boat assists the team in shoreline searches and transportation to the many Islands on Loch Lomond. Finally, the most visible link, with the new Bristows S92 Rescue 999 helicopters from Prestwick.

Moffat MRT

Moffat Mountain Rescue Team has been coming to the aid of walkers, climbers and members of the local community, from toddlers to the elderly since 1969.

The team primarily covers the eastern area Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland, a large rural area which offers a wide variety of recreational fun and attracts outdoor enthusiasts of all ages and level of ability.

Currently the team has approximately 30 members, including probationary members in training. All members are civilian volunteers who live across the Eastern Area of Dumfries and Galloway.

Our team is on call to provide emergency assistance 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Each team member brings personal experience & local knowledge of the area they cover, which can be invaluable in searches.

Moffat Mountain Rescue provides rescue cover across the Eastern area of Dumfries and Galloway in South West Scotland, an area of approximately  400 kilometres square.

This area covers a wide variety of historical and recreational areas including The Moffat and Lowther hills, Criffel, Ae and Mabie Forests; as well as covering the local communities of Moffat to Gretna, Langholm to Sanquhar; and including Dumfries, Lockerbie, Annan, and all of the communities in between.

The Team can also be called to assist neighbouring teams in the surrounding area, including Galloway and Cumbria.

The Moffat team work closely with Police Scotland who alert the team when they receive a 999 call, requiring our assistance.

The team also provides safety cover for a number of hill races within the region, as well as at local community events throughout our area.

To ensure the continued running of the team, various fundraising events are organised throughout the year including the Team’s Charity Challenge

Oban MRT

Oban Mountain Rescue Team provides search and rescue cover for an area covering the northwest of Argyll from Bridge of Orchy to Campbelltown and the islands including Mull and Jura. Our boundaries are the Argyll & Bute Council boundary with Highland to the North and Stirlingshire to the east, and a southern boundary with Arrochar MRT roughly along the shore of Loch Fyne. Most incidents on this southerly boundary would have a joint response.

Our team consists of 37 active members all of who are unpaid volunteers dedicating their time to helping people in need, responding to between 15 and 20 call-outs a year. All our members are experienced mountaineers with vast amounts of local knowledge. Every member is also an emergency first aider. As a voluntary organisation we rely heavily on the support and generosity of organisations and individuals. 

We were formed in 2001 at the request of the Strathclyde Chief Constable who felt that cover in this area was poor.

Our primary role is search and rescue within the mountains and upland areas, however we may also be used by the police for missing person searches and any other situation where they would normally have difficulty operating, i.e. steep ground, ravines etc.

Ochils MRT

Ochils Mountain Rescue team works with police Scotland and partners to provide a Search And Rescue service in East Central Scotland. During major incidents we regularly work closely with our neighbouring teams within Scottish Mountain Rescue -Tweed Valley, Killin and Lomond.

Called out by Police Scotland, we will respond 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to assist, locate and recover missing persons and people who have found themselves in difficult situations whether it be on the hillside, forest or trail. 

Training to a high standard in mountain rescue skills, ropework, medical care, communication and 4×4 driving (conforming to guidelines set out by Scottish Mountain Rescue) the Ochils team can respond to any rural or hill incident efficiently and effectively. We also offer support to various local resilience groups, providing assistance in times of emergency.

The most important assets we have are the more than 30 highly trained volunteers, from all walks of life, brought together by a love of the outdoors and bonded by team work and high training standards. 

We are fortunate to have a custom-built rescue base from which we can coordinate search and rescues – as well as our regular training – in Fishcross, Clackmannanshire.

Police Scotland (Grampian) MRT
Police Scotland (Strathclyde) MRT

Police Scotland (Strathclyde) MRT are based in the West Command Area of Police Scotland and have responsibility for the area that was formerly the Strathclyde Police area and now also encompasses Dumfries and Galloway.

Police have responsibility for Land Search and Rescue (LandSAR) in the UK and as such Police MRT coordination is carried out under legislative powers.

The Team consists of 28 members, all of whom are serving Police Officers and all of whom volunteer to carry out Mountain Rescue duties as an addition to their normal role within the Police Service.

We work closely with the teams within the West Command area namely, Oban, Arrochar, Arran, Moffat and Galloway teams.  We carry out joint training with the teams and attend incidents to provide coordination and provide personnel for the incident.

Although based in the West Command area, the Team are a national resource and can be asked to attend any major incident in any part of the country where investigations by the Police or other outside agencies may result in a criminal or civil prosecution, or where evidence needs to be secured for any other purpose.

Police MRT will assist in the safe entry and exit for other agencies into difficult to reach areas and ensure their safety whilst there, in order for them to carry out their investigations or enquiries. 

Team training consists of twice monthly training days covering all aspects of Mountain Rescue and personal skills required to be safe in the mountains of Scotland.

The Team has several medics and Cas Care qualified personnel as well as qualified Winter and Summer Mountain Leaders.

All team members are assessed on a yearly basis on Winter skills and navigation as well as rescue skills in the winter environment.

Dial 999 and ask for Police, Mountain Rescue.

Police Scotland (Tayside) MRT

Police Scotland (Tayside) Mountain Rescue Team cover Angus, Dundee, Perthshire and Kinross-shire, working closely with the Tayside civilian team attends around 50 incidents each year from the wilds of Rannoch Moor to the Angus Glens.  Officers are drawn from those serving within the area, with a mix of uniform beat officers as well as traffic and CID, who stop their “normal” jobs to attend incidents when mountain rescue calls.

Incidents are much the same as many mountain rescue teams across the country with a mixture of lost and injured walkers, a few overdue walkers and even a lost dog now and again.

They are tasked to a significant amount of water based rescues, searches and recoveries in the lochs and rivers which run through the areas, as a result have strong working relationship with Fire and Rescue colleagues, SORT and the Coastguard Helicopters based in Inverness and Prestwick.  As a result many of the team are qualified as swift water responders.

RAF Lossiemouth MRT
SARAA – Scotland

Search and Rescue Aerial Association-Scotland (SARAA-Scotland) is the newest member of Scottish Mountain rescue having been formed in 2018.   

Its purpose is, through the use of Unmanned Airborne Assets in Land Search and Rescue; the saving of lives; the advancement of health; the location and relief of people who are lost, injured, missing, or otherwise in need of assistance.

Use of drones is an emerging technology and in its infancy within the Land Search and Rescue arena.  SARAA-Scotland looks to create and maintain a robust training and operational model across Scotland by training existing members of mountain rescue teams as SAR Drone Pilots.

SARAA-Scotland is also a member of the International Emergency Drone Organisation (IEDO) – this is an international network of emergency drone operators who look to share learning and best practice as technology and regulations develop.

SARDA (Scotland)

Search & Rescue Dog Association Scotland is a charitable organisation which trains dogs and their handlers to search for missing persons. We cover all of Scotland, 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.  

Search and rescue dogs support Mountain Rescue Teams in their search for missing people and the Police in searching for vulnerable missing people. The handlers are all volunteers. Charitable donations support training and equipping the dogs and their handlers. 

Dogs are trained to use their acute sense of smell to detect human scent in the air. Together, the dog and its handler form a highly efficient team. Dogs can work in all weathers, day or night, without loss of speed and they can cover huge areas quickly. 

SARDA (Southern Scotland)

Search and Rescue Dog Association Southern Scotland (Registered charity  SC028709) is affiliated to Scottish Mountain Rescue and a founder member of National Search and Rescue Dog Association.

SARDA Southern Scotland is a non-profit making, voluntary organisation to help the Police and Mountain Rescue Teams search for missing people.

All handlers and trainees are active members of an UKSAR (United Kingdom Search And Rescue) team and represent a wide range of teams including Galloway, Tweed Valley, Lomond, Killin, Tayside, Arran and Ochils.

SARDA Southern Scotland can provide search and rescue dogs in Central or Southern Scotland at any time 24 hours a day 365 days a year.

Incidents average at around fifty-five per year and handlers may be called to assist in parts of Scotland further north such as Glencoe and the Cairngorms as well as parts of Northern England, including the Lake District.

Around sixty percent of call-outs involve missing person searches for the old and vulnerable, often in urban or semi-urban environments and to reflect this all handlers have to pass an assessment in these type of environments before progressing on to mountain grades.

Scottish Cave Rescue

The purpose of the Scottish Cave Rescue Organisation (SCRO) is to provide a service searching for and rescuing persons and animals from any underground location in Scotland (e.g. natural caves and fissures, disused metal and stone mines, culverts, tunnels etc., in short, anywhere below ground except deep collieries and shale mines where pre-planned instability and foul air factors are present), and to support cave rescue operations in the rest of the UK.  As a charitable organisation it aims to secure funds to facilitate the following:

  • Implementation of a relevant and effective training programme for personnel
  • Liaison with and assistance to other emergency services
  • Promotion of general awareness and improved standards of safety required in the pursuit of speleology and associated activities

Due to the remoteness of many Scottish caving areas, and the distance most SCRO members have to travel to reach them, initial response is devolved to the local Mountain Rescue Team.   However, the SCRO should be placed on standby immediately via Police Scotland for any underground incident. Simple affairs may be dealt with competently by the local MR team but serious incidents requiring specialist caving skills entail an immediate call-out of SCRO, taking into account that several hours could elapse before team members arrive on-site.  Any cave rescuers living in the vicinity of an incident may initiate rescue activity in co-operation with the MRT.

Thereafter the local MRT will work with the SCRO and other emergency services to facilitate a successful rescue, devolving all underground operations solely to caving personnel.  Should further technical assistance be required, cave rescue teams in the north of England may be called upon to assist.

The SCRO should be used for search, rescue and recovery from an underground location anywhere in Scotland and may also be effective in missing person searches where sub-surface obstacles are encountered.

Skye MRT

Skye Mountain Rescue Team are a group of up to 40 volunteers who provide assistance to walkers and climbers on the Isle of Skye on the west coast of Scotland. 

Our main area of operations has traditionally been in the Cuillin mountains of Skye. More recently we have attended a lot of incidents in the Trotternish Ridge area and we also assist the police and coastguard in searches and rescues in other parts of the island. Occasionally we are also asked to assist other mountain rescue teams on the Scottish mainland.  

The team members are local men and women from all over the island and are all volunteers who receive no payment or retainer fee other than expenses. 

The first mountain rescue incident on Skye was recorded in 1870 when a man from Liverpool fell and died whilst descending Sgurr nan Gillean.  Gradually more and more people came to the Cuillins to climb, and so the number of accidents increased until in the 1950’s the first volunteer rescue team was established.  In recent years the volume of visitors to the island has dramatically increased and so has the number of mountain incidents. We currently attend around 50 per year. 

In 1972 Gerry Akroyd took over the position of team leader.  In 2010 he was awarded an MBE for services to mountain rescue in the Queen’s New Year’s honours list – the 2nd team member to receive the award, after John Macleod, former team leader and chairman. 

In May 2018 Gerry retired after over 45 years of service, and Neil Urquhart was elected by the team to be the new team leader. 

Torridon MRT

Torridon Mountain Rescue Team is one of 28 Scottish Mountain Rescue member teams in Scotland. We:

  • Maintain the ability to deploy personnel and operate effectively and safely 365 days a year, 24 hours a day and in all weather conditions;
  • Work in challenging and at times hostile mountain environments;
  • Deploy under the authority of Police Scotland.

The team came into being in 1972. Before then, rescues were organised on an ad hoc basis under the direction of the local Police Sergeant using local estate workers and any other suitable people who were available. Recreational hill activities in the 1970s were much less popular than now and sometimes a year went by with no rescues. Nowadays, the team averages about 20-30 a year, operating from a dedicated search and rescue centre located in the heart of Torridon village.

We cover a large area extending from Achnasheen, in the east, to Applecross, in the west, and from Kinlochewe, in the north, to Lochcarron, in the south. The area includes 17 Munros, including the iconic “Torridon triptych”: Beinn Alligin, Liathach and Beinn Eighe, Scotland’s first National Nature Reserve. We are richly endowed with some of Britain’s most magnificent mountain landscapes, including the trio of Munros around Coire Lair, the remote quartet in the West Monar Forrest, embracing Loch Monar, the massive cliffs of Beinn Bhan, barring entry to the Applecross peninsula, and, most celebrated of all, the Triple Buttress of Coire Mhic Fhearchair, behind Beinn Eighe.

In common with members of Mountain Rescue Teams across the UK, our team members are all unpaid volunteers and the team is dependent heavily on charitable donations and legacies. We usually have around 30 personnel on our call-out list, drawn from all walks of life, and we know that we can be called out at any time of the day or night, any day of the year.

Tweed Valley MRT

Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue Team is based in the Scottish Borders. It is part of the network of Mountain Rescue Teams affiliated to Scottish Mountain Rescue which covers the whole of the country. The team is a charity and all the members are volunteers who are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to go to the assistance of people (and occasionally animals) who are lost, missing or injured.

The team has its base in Melrose and covers West Lothian, Mid Lothian, City of Edinburgh and the Scottish Borders west of the A68.

We also work closely with the other emergency services in the area and can call on neighbouring Mountain Rescue Teams, Search and Rescue Dogs and Coastguard Search and Rescue Helicopters. In addition to these relationships, Tweed Valley MRT is proud to be twinned with HSSK, a volunteer rescue organisation based in Kópavogur, Iceland.

Our area covers the highest hills of the Southern Uplands including Broad Law (840m), much of the Pentland Hills, the Moorfoot, Tweedsmuir and Eildon Hills, the wild and remote Ettrick and Yarrow valleys and some of the best and most popular mountain biking areas in Scotland at Glentress and Innerleithen, both part of the 7Stanes mountain biking area. A large stretch of the Southern Upland Way is within the Team’s area as well as a number of other popular waymarked paths.

As well as the wild uplands, our area also covers significant population in Edinburgh and we are often called to assist the Police in searching rough low-level ground in less remote locations.

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Member teams

Team members