Mountain Rescue News: Digital Mapping, 2008 Incidents and Funding

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The Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland (MRCofS) today launched 'Mountain Map', an innovative mapping package that will allow mountain rescue teams to map and share the areas that they are searching when coming to the aid of those in trouble in the Scottish mountains.

The Search Management Software was developed following the provision of digital mapping covering Scotland from Ordnance Survey to assist in the search and rescue of missing climbers and hill walkers across Scotland. The software, which has been specifically developed for mountain rescue, will allow search managers to record their pre-planning and search strategy of incidents more accurately.

Fergus Ewing Scottish Government Minister for Community Safety Fergus Ewing who was invited to see the launch said:

"As a former member of Lomond Mountain Rescue Team, I welcome this new software which is an exciting new development in mountain rescue. I very much welcome the introduction of this new system which will allow better co-ordination and planning of searches and enable the accurate exchange of vital information.
"The Scottish Government fully recognises the vital role of the mountain rescue teams as they go to the aid of those who get into difficultly on our mountains. I am therefore delighted to confirm that we will continue to support the Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland with £300,000 in this financial year."

Alfie Ingram, Chair of the Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland said:

"The Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland are very grateful to the previous and ongoing support of the Scottish Government for Mountain Rescue in Scotland. Further to improving the provision of service, I am pleased today to present the digital mapping software which will enhance our search management capabilities.

Funding secured

While at the event the Minister also anounced continued funding. The Scottish Government funding to the Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland of £300,000 for 2009-10 is distributed to all of their affiliated voluntary rescue organisations. This involves every team/organisation receiving the same minimum amount of funding and the remainder distributed based on the number of call-outs each team/organisation dealt with over the preceding five year period. This approach is aimed at ensuring a fair and appropriate distribution of the funding.

The police have primary responsibility for all land-based search and rescue, and for this purpose they call on support from other agencies including the voluntary mountain rescue teams affiliated to the Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland

The new software will allow details of incidents to be exported to others involved in the search including Police Control Rooms, the Aeronautical Rescue Co-ordination Centre and other mountain rescue teams.

Incidents continue to Rise

2008 Statistics Published

Today also saw the release of the 2008 statistics, which although showing a continued increase in the number of accidents, also show a decrease in the number of incidents per person hours on the mountains. Climbing accounted for 12.4% of the the total incidents, with 48 incidents involving 81 subjects, including 3 fatalities.

Type Subjects Incidents  %
of total incidents
Rock Climbing (Roped) 19 16 4.1%
Rock Climbing (Unroped) 1 1 0.3%
Winter Climbing (Roped) 55 27 7%
Winter Climbing (Unroped) 6 4 1%
Climbing total 81 48 12.4%

The full Incident Report for 2008 includes a summary of figures for other activitys and a more details breakdown of the level of injury sustained.


9th June 2008

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