A current team member explains what drives someone to give up their spare time and precious sleep to help others.
I am very lucky. I have been fortunate enough to spend the best years of my life enjoying the great outdoors at home and abroad. I’ve learnt to look after myself and those around me through time spent enjoying wild open spaces both close to home and far away. It is when you are back safe and sound after a long day in the hills sat in front of the fire that you realise how important home is. It was this thought that drove me to want to get involved with Mountain Rescue. I felt that I was equipped and ready to join an organisation that makes it their business to ensure others get home safely. The opportunity to support my community and know that I am part of a team that can help when no-one else can is a big duty to hold.
When the pager goes in the middle of the night, there is always an excitement at what we do – knowing that we are setting off into the dark to help someone does give you a buzz and I am glad to have learnt the specific skills that allow me to do this job.
Others we help are unfortunately not as lucky as me. One key aspect of our search and rescue remit is the ability to look for those who have decided they can’t cope any more for one reason or another.
Although I sometimes find it sad when I think about the people we look for and their loneliness and desperation, I also feel a great sense of duty to the families. There is a sombre satisfaction of helping families in what we do when we find someone and can allow the family to grieve. It must be so awful not knowing where a loved one has gone to end their life. This aspect of search and rescue can sometimes seem forgotten – but it is incredibly important to us and something that as a team we are experts at. It is a privilege to be a part of mountain rescue for both the excitement and responsibility of the role. I wear the badge with a lot of pride. I’m glad I made the decision to join, and I hope that we can continue to provide our voluntary service with a professional approach for many years to come.