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The truths they don't want you to read....

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Lewis Mountain Rescue Team

Mountain Rescue TeamUnimpeded by the shortage of mountains in the Western Isles, I understand that the proposal for a Mountain Rescue Team is being worked up by all the agencies, primarily on the grounds that if one life is saved then it is justified.

This is the public sector precautionary principle in action.

Whilst no-one in the emergency services is going to publicly criticise such a proposal, there is a certain amount of disbelief at the budget being put aside by the Health Board to pay for this.

With cuts expected across the whole of the public sector, are there better uses of a sum believed to be around to £600,000?


Anonymous said...

Very early April Fool?

Anonymous said...

It has to be a early "April fool" surely, Please please make it so to keep my sanity.

Anonymous said...

How many call outs a year are they anticipating. Even if each in the team was given a LWB landy equiped with response gear it would not come to £600K.

Anonymous said...

Hilarious!! Must be a joke. They could fly in the A Team a few times a year for that price. What about employing people to chaperone those mountain climbers? 3 x £20k = £60k p.a.
There you go, saved £540k already!!

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable! And how much do they invest in the Lifeboat Service annually I wonder? Bugger all!! And which is the most relevant to these islands? D'oh! Of course, the mountain rescue service. Oh yes, the lunatics really have taken over the asylum!

Anonymous said...

MR teams don't just rescue 'climbers' they are highly trained and usually equipped with equally highly trained search dogs, and locate corpses and missing people. They usually work in partnership with the other emergency services. A trained team can make a big difference to survival. Not sure about the £'s referred to. It seems like a huge amount of money.

Anonymous said...

Working up? If you did your homework you may find that the agencies are actually as sceptical about this one as the commenters are.

Anonymous said...

4:27 PM
We have the coastguard helicopter, we have the lifeboat. They can do all the jobs a MR team can do.

There is no mountain higher than the Clisham, at 799m. For goodness sake, we don't need a MRT for things like that. If, hypothetically, someone got trapped climbing in remote craggy terrain that was hard for the helicopter to land, then the helicopter men can be winched down. And if it was too hard for them take one of the local climbing instructors on the helicopter.

The NHS here is extremely wasteful, how about spending it somewhere useful.
Like a clinical psychologist for all the people screwed up by the presbyterian mindset,and more drug and alcohol addiction specialists.
That is the real cost to the local economy and society.

Anonymous said...

thanks, but we already do joined up rescue in the Hebrides.
Mountain/ moorland rescues and searches are run by the Coastguard Cliff rescue teams, probably about 50 or sixty TRAINED men/ women, all with pagers etc as required. The salty wet bits are covered by the RNLI, we have two helicopters in the island run by the MCA who do very well at both sea and mountain rescue. I havn't heard SARDA, the search and rescue dog association being offered any funding from the health board, anywhere in Scotland. In large scale searches of the moor, locals and crofters, who LIVE HERE, and regularly work or play in the moor, always turn to and assist- witness the massive turnout in the Uists last year, long after the 'official' searches ceased.

I just dont see the problem that these guys are trying to fix- and cannot believe the health board can be (have been?) duped in paying out this ammount of cash. Is any other mountain rescue team funded by the NHS? Mountain rescue is a Police responsibility anyway, so why is an almost bankrupt health board funding this? AFAIK the independant MRT's are all charity funded, with a block grant direct from Edinburgh.
Follow the money....

Anonymous said...

If the coastguard can do the work of a Mountain Rescue team then they are a Mountain Rescue team and we definitely don't need another one. But without knowing what the Coastguard is trained up for, it's worth pointing out that mountain teams specialise in removing people from inaccessible places where straight helicopter evacuation is often not possible. This might be due to weather conditions as much as the situation. Humans can walk and climb and search when helicopters can't fly.

Also in very exposed inaccessible situations on steep ground it may need expert knowledge of mountain safety techniques to actually work safely. Hence most Mountain Rescue teams are manned voluntarily by the very same experienced mountaineers, climbers and 'instructors' you suggest but who have undergone training so they can confidently expidite rescues, from hills, sea cliffs and other difficult access situations, in collaboration with other services.

Having said that I agree that a bus load of clinical psychologist would not go amiss.

Anonymous said...

There we go, 7.58 explains it all. The question therefore is, Angus where have you found this out from and what is the reasoning behind it when services are already in place?

Angus said...

I was told about this from someone very close to an emergency service, who was present at meetings where this was all discussed.

They (and all their colleagues) were very supportive of the plan.

Then they were told about the budget being set aside (being asked to be set aside?) for the service. Jaws dropped.

WIHB (possibly leading for the Community Planning Partnership) were represented and advised to be the lead public-sector partner on this project.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't denegrate the mountains in these islands. The Harris hills are actually serious mountains, in spite of their lowly height. The Clisham range e.g. is not for the faint hearted and I distinctly remember the Coastguard having to come out one December afternoon to help some benighted walkers off the mountain. Similarly, the mountains in Uig. A sum of £600k though is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

WIHB have their own mountain to climb and how many times have they been rescued off that parapit?????
Perhaps that is the smoke screen and the money will go into the deficit pit and never see the light of day.

Anonymous said...

I believe that this is so SNH can keep folk on the islands who have previously worked on hedgehog and mink killing schemes.

This way they can contribute to communities. Not my words I hassen to add. I agree its bollocks.

Anonymous said...

Angus, I must correct you on a couple of small points;

a/ The emergency services present at this meeting did NOT all support this matter, quite the opposite in some cases. One actually stated that they had "no gaps in capability as they could call on helicopter support from all over the mainland". Shame our troops in
Afghanistan can't rely on that level of helicopter support.

b/ This was NOT a MRT. It was/is a team to enhance community resilience, offer more depth to the blue light responders and also to the Council and the wider community.

c/ NOT a single penny has come from any funding, government or otherwise ! Apart from team members injecting their own money, time and effort to support "OUR" community.

After the tragic death in Cross on Friday, can the SAS still say that they have the Island covered ? As I understand it the National Response Time for rural areas is 15 minutes. I think that for an 81 year old lady, or anyone, to wait for over an hour at the roadside is disgusting !

The fact that this information has been leaked, incorrectly, into the public domain makes me question the professional standards of those that did so.

Anonymous said...

I agree, not so smug now, are we! I wonder how they are feeling today and that "We Islanders can look after ourselves" comment. The team offered a number of doctors who were willing to deploy to such events with equipment, if the SAS were unable to cope. Shocking and disgraceful. My sincere heartfelt thoughts to the lady involved in the RTC... R.I.P

Anonymous said...


If you were aware of the SAR framework document you would know that if the Coastguard helicopter is on a rescue the ARCC at Kinloss would task the nearest available SAR helicopter, please don't belittle the work our brave helicopter crews do in Afganistan.

your comment is crass considereing someone tragically lost their life in the incident a doctor was on scene within 8 minutes.

Anonymous said...

The comments about the Cross accident are stupid and irrelevant. It is unlikely that even had this team been in existence, that they would have been called to Cross.
Given that people have been rescued on Lewis by established resources for many years, why do we need input from an outsider company that nobody in the emergency services has ever heard off, despite being the "UK's Leader" in rescue??
toys for the boys paid for by public money under the table, looks to be the case

Anonymous said...

"I believe that this is so SNH can keep folk on the islands who have previously worked on hedgehog and mink killing schemes."

sick of the attitude some of you "locals" have on this matter, the mink trappers especially do a very demanding job, day in day out in all weather, these guys know the island better than 99.9 percent of all "locals", they are here do do a job, let them get on with it, and has no connection with this internal island rescue politics/bollocks!