How does a mountain rescue work?

Firstly, the alert will be typically be raised by a member of the public calling the police to report an incident, either requesting a mountain rescue team or with the police deciding that the services of a rescue team are required.

The police controller will then contact the Peak District Mountain Rescue Organisation (PDMRO), the umbrella organisation for the seven mountain rescue teams in the Peak District.The PDMRO controller will then decide which team is best placed to attend the incident and will contact the call out phone number for that team. This number will be held by one of the deputy team leaders on a rota basis. It is up to them to determine if the police request for mountain rescue services justifies the team being deployed. They may decide to call the team out,to ask the police to do more investigations before deploying the team, or decide that the use of the team is not justified. On deciding that the team is needed, they will then determine where the team should rendezvous, deploy the team vehicles and send a call-out message on the pagers that team members carry at all times, giving brief details of the type of incident and the location to meet up at.

On receiving the pager message, team members will grab their gear and head off to the rendezvous point. For some incidents, for example in the case of an accident at a specific location, only limited resources will be required, so only those team members who can get to the scene quickly enough will respond. As soon as sufficient members arrive at the rendezvous point a stand-down message will be sent out to the pagers for all those still on their way, who will turn around and head back.

For other incidents, such as searches for missing persons, all the team members who are able to attend will head to the rendezvous point.

At the rendezvous, the command and control position will be set up, usually the team ambulance, which is equipped with all the necessary communications and IT resources needed to plan and control operations.

Once the team leaders have determined the plan of action, the team will be briefed and assigned their tasks.

In a known location incident a small number of team members will be sent to the location to determine what equipment is required this will be quickly dispatched by other team members.

In the case of a search for a missing person, small teams will be dispatched to allocated search areas whilst a small number of team members are held back, to carry out supporting roles (take out equipment etc).

When a missing person(s) is located,the team determines the condition of the person - can they be safely escorted back ; do they require medical attention or do they need to be extracted from a difficult location, such as a crag face.Normally an incident site will usually be set up at the casualty location. Typically this consists of 3 people attending to the medical needs of the casualty and one person taking on the role of site controller.The site controller coordinates all the team members on site, managing communications back to the incident control and arranging for any additional resources to be supplied, such as additional team members, medical equipment, stretchers or ropes/crag gear.

If necessary a stretcher party will be formed to carry the casualty back to safety on one of the teams specialist stretchers, or in some cases a helicopter evacuation may be arranged if medical attention is required more urgently.

Finally, the team will meet for a de-briefing before heading back home to await the next call out.

Derby Mountain Rescue Team is a charitable company (1089237) limited by guarantee.
Registered in England & Wales No 4229996.

Registered Office: Derby Mountain Rescue Team, Ashbourne Road,
Mackworth, Derby, DE22 4NB
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