To enhance overall safety to both rescuers and those requiring rescue in remote rescue situations

United Kingdom
Public Service
To enhance overall safety to both rescuers and those requiring rescue in remote rescue situations featured image
• Emergency Service organisations recognise mountain (or remote) rescue as a specialist rescue discipline and acknowledge that mountain (or remote) rescuers require additional knowledge, skills and ability above that of traditional vertical rescuers. • Emergency Service organisations need to understand the level of commitment, in time and money needed to develop a mountain rescue capability, particularly if their personnel do not have a strong climbing and outdoor background. Where a permanent mountain rescue capability is not readily available, consideration be given to forming a specialist rescue capability involving experienced local climbers. • Organisations should actively utilise external consultants to assist in developing or endorsing their mountain rescue programs and need to keep up to date on international developments in training, equipment and techniques. • Mountain rescue personnel should undertake a regular physical fitness assessment that reflects the physical demands of rescues missions in their area. As a minimum, adopt the Wildfire Arduous Pack Test. • ‘Fit for purpose’ clothing and footwear should be used for all austere and mountainous area rescues, and the clothing should assist in making the rescuer visible. • Appropriate light-weight and multi-function equipment should be selected to reduce the overall weight the rescuer is required to carry. • Mountain rescue personnel should be capable of being self-sufficient for up to 48 hrs and be able to perform self-rescue wherever they are undertaking a rescue mission. • All personnel operating in austere or mountainous environments should possess a level of first aid training that is appropriate for the injuries / illnesses they will encounter with a casualty. As a minimum, adopt Wilderness First Aid or equivalent. • Rescue organisations combine resources (e.g. mountain rescue and helicopter rescue) to provide a more efficient and effective rescue service that can cover a greater response area. Consideration be given to using a RPAS (drone) to safeguard mountain rescue personnel via gathering casualty and terrain information, making contact with the casualty and monitoring rescuers in the field. Emergency services need to work together to develop an accurate and reliable national geolocation system for identifying a caller’s geographical location, with this information capable of being accessed by rescuers in the field. • Manage the risk of psychological / stress injury with the same commitment to managing the risk of physical injury. • Rescue organisations need to work with the pubic, land managers and recreational groups to reduce the frequency and number of rescues in their response area


Gregory Toman

Gregory Toman


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