Why do we need a RAF Mountain Rescue Service (MRS)?
The short answer is, firstly following the Chicago Convention of 1947, the United Kingdom undertook to provide assistance to aircraft, ships and persons in distress within its area of responsibility. Secondly, we provide rescue and medical assistance to Service personnel who require help during operational and adventurous training. Our service is closely linked with the RAF's Search and Rescue (SAR) helicopters. Despite the growing number of incidents where a SAR helicopter can reach the incident faster, the RAF MRS remains to date the only ALL WEATHER SAR force in the RAF.
Although it is impossible to predict how many incidents the MRT will be tasked to respond to each year, the total number will rarely exceed 25. The Air Rescue Co-ordination Centre (ARCC) here at Kinloss controls all RAF MRTs. If the ARCC deploy the Team to an incident, the Team including as many part-time members that can be released from their primary duty will attend. Not knowing the full potential of the callout until our arrival, it is essential that the Team can provide as many personnel as possible.
Callouts can very from a mid-air collision, multi day search for a missing person to a 9 hour stretcher carry with a casualty with serious injuries.
To achieve the required level of efficiency and operational currency, each member of the Team is required to attend a minimum of 2 weekend training training exercises per month and a weekly evening training brief. During these training exercises and briefings, the Team member will receive instruction on all aspects of mountain rescue. Including rock climbing, abseiling, mountaineering, snow and ice climbing, working with helicopters and Immediate and Emergency Care up to the level of a SAR Paramedic.