Scottish Mountain Rescue is a voluntary organisation comprising 24 Mountain Rescue Teams (MRTs) and the BSARU is the MRT for the very south east of Scotland and is based in Kelso. All the 24 MRTs are charities and have more than 850 members. These teams operate under the auspices of Police Scotland and provide a 24 hour a day, 365 days a year service to assist missing persons. In addition to the 24 civilian teams there are three Police Scotland MRTs and one RAF MRT.
Scottish Mountain Rescue Posts are identified by an SMR plaque, (see badge above) and this can be seen in two locations on a walk around Kelso, one at Kelso Police Station and the other at the team’s garage at Kelso Race Course.
The team was formed in September 1963, by Detective Constable A. H. (Tony) Robinson, and Mr. Jack Robb, and was based in Yetholm, and was the first MRT in the South of Scotland. Look out for more on the team history in future articles.
The team currently has two Land Rovers and a Mercedes Sprinter kept in the team garage and a Control Trailer based in a garage at Kelso Police Station.
At present the team, unlike many of the other MRTs, does not have a base from which to coordinate searches, hold training sessions and business meetings, store equipment adequately, have debriefs after searches, and provide facilities for team members. However the team has plans to create a purpose built base at a new location near the town. More on this as it develops.
Team members must have a current First Aid certificate and November training is a full weekend of First Aid provided by an external certified provider.
Scottish MR receives a sum of money from the Scottish Government, which is distributed amongst the teams. This money does not, however, cover the running costs of the team and it relies on donations from the public and fund raising activities undertaken by team members and others.
In an emergency anyone requiring the services of the team should call 999 and ask for Police then Mountain Rescue.