MRS 70

Mountain Rescue Service

RAF Mountain Rescue Service

The RAF has 4 MRTs covering the UK’s mountain regions. All MRT personnel are volunteers. MRTs are based at RAF Leeming (near Northallerton in Yorkshire), RAFLeuchars (near St Andrews in Fife), RAF Valley (on the Isle of Anglesey, North Wales) and RAF Lossiemouth (near Elgin in Morayshire).

RAF MRTs are ‘on-call’ 24 hours every day and are tasked by the ARCC. Each MRT holds a minimum of 10 personnel at 1 hour’s readiness throughout the week and at a reduced readiness on weekends. Team members are further trained in Immediate and Emergency Medical Care, with some progressing to become qualified paramedics.

RAF MRT vehicles are fitted with ‘blues and twos’ for rapid road deployment. MRT personnel deploy in their Toyota Hi-Lux high-mobility vehicles and are always accompanied by their specialistcommunications vehicle. This has a comprehensive communications capability with radios operating on Marine/HF/VHF/UHF bands, satellite and mobile telephone communications, AIRWAVE radio for integration with civilian emergency services and digital mapping computers. Further equipment is carried to aid search planning. RAF MRTs work regularly and effectively with civilian MRTs on exercises and operations.

RAF MRTs are capable of mounting self-sustained, all-weather SAR operations for an initial 36 hour period. They have also been involved for months in some extended incidents. Team members’ high standards of training and fitness enable them to search mountainous terrain rapidly and effectively in extreme weather conditions that may preclude the use of a SAR helicopter.

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