Mountain Rescue England and Wales response to Coronavirus, COVID-19 (Updated 21.3.20)
Mountain Rescue England and Wales (MREW) is following the national health protection advice and applying it to its situation – just like everyone else.
MREW’s priority is resilience, making sure that as many of its trained volunteers are as available as possible for call outs. This means reducing face-to-face meetings (and using online equivalents) and postponing all but essential training so that we reduce the chances of spread among our volunteers.
We’re also aware that a lot of MR volunteers have day jobs that will be important in the coming weeks and months – paramedics, NHS staff etc – so we need to be enabling them to stay well and focus on that work.
The public can play a role in helping us to provide an effective service: If people require assistance but suspect they may have Covid-19 or have been in contact with someone who has it then MR asks them, please, to tell the Police this information as soon as they can when calling 999 for help. That way, teams can be prepared.
“Being outdoors has all sorts of health benefits – mental and physical,” says Mike France, Senior Executive Officer of MREW. “The latest government advice is that people can go outside for exercise or to take a walk but should stay at least 2 metres away from other people. We would additionally ask people not to take any unnecessary risks. If they are going to go out, they should walk, climb and cycle well within their capabilities so that they’re more likely to stay safe.
“For the last 87 years Mountain Rescue has been there in England & Wales to help anyone, free of charge, who gets into difficulty in the outdoors, for whatever reason. Our volunteer members will continue to provide this support to the emergency services if they are in good health. It’s important to remember that individuals cannot do a rescue alone, they need a team, which could take a lot longer to put together when teams are supporting each other due to fewer members being available.”