Rory, yesterday chaired an important meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group, resolving to organise a ‘Mountain Rescue’ day in Westminster. This follows on from the success of Cumbria Day earlier this year. The event will raise awareness of the excellent work that Mountain Rescue groups do across the country. The APPG group welcomes members from both the England and Wales Mountain Rescue, and Scottish Mountain Rescue groups.

David Allan, Chairman of the England and Wales Mountain Rescue group, reported that  following strong lobbying by the All Party group, Standard operating procedures for the deployment of Air Assets have now been agreed between the two organisations, making rescue operations much easier. Rory said: “I’m thrilled to hear that communications between Mountain Rescue teams and Air Ambulances are improving and this issue now seems to be resolved. It’s important that these organisations are able to work together and communicate easily with each other. I am also committed to creating a really excellent awareness-raising event in Westminster later this year, which will bring together our Mountain Rescue charities from across the country in event that will showcase their dedication and bravery, and to get important points across to Ministers and officials.” There are approximately 48 Mountain Rescue teams in England and Wales with a further 27 teams in Scotland. Team members are on call 24 hours a day, every day of the year. As volunteers, team members do not get paid and operations demand an extremely high commitment from all team members. There are over 1,100 rescues each year in England and Wales, over half of these occurring in the Lake District. A typical rescue may involve up to 20 team members for around 6 hours on average.

David Allan, Chairman of Mountain Rescue England and Wales said: “As on previous occasions this was a very useful meeting of great benefit to mountain rescue. The proposal to hold a ‘Mountain and Cave Rescue Event’ within the Houses of Parliament’ has the potential to be of enormous value in increasing awareness of the extensive role that the organisation now plays.It was also encouraging to find that the group will support the continuation of a government grant to mountain rescue to help with equipment and training and will seek to transfer the payment to the Home Office when the current arrangement through the Department for Transport expires. We look forward to a continuing good relation with the APPG and appreciate the time given by MPs and Members of the House of Lords to facilitate this.”

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