Setback for search and rescue policy
SIR, – With reference to the article highlighting the change in policy on the use of search and rescue (SAR) helicopters recovering mountain rescue teams and bodies from the hill, after search operations are completed (Press and Journal, November 3).
It must be remembered that the mountain rescue volunteers are the only “all weather” rescue service that there is on the hills. This decision has moved SAR policy back 50 years. It shows a complete lack of respect for what the teams achieve. While teams are capable of carrying out almost any mission, recovering a body in remote areas can take many hours and many people. The volunteers have jobs and many are selfemployed so it is important they are off the hill as quickly as possible and at busy times the team need a rest between incidents.
Mountain rescue is the responsibility of Police Scotland which relies almost totally on the teams. Police Scotland needs to fight this change.