Set­back for search and res­cue pol­icy

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - AGENDA -

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.

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