Cave Rescue


FINANCE

All the teams and regional bodies are financially independent although there is some movement of funds up and down the system. The MRC, the regional bodies and the teams each raise virtually all the funds which they require for their own use. While the greatest part of the funding for mountain rescue as a whole comes from donations and collecting boxes there are several other sources of help which should be mentioned. 

  1. From the ambulance service. The majority of the regional health authorities in England, in whose areas mountain rescues occur, subscribe to a fund which is used to either supply teams directly with First Aid equipment or to fund the purchase of specialised equipment such as stretchers, stretcher lowering ropes and casualty bags. There is a similar but slightly different arrangement in Wales with funding from the Welsh office.

     

  2. From local police authorities. These on the recommendation of the Home Office and the Association of Chief Police Officers provide, service and licence the greater part of the radio communications equipment used by teams. They also provide accident insurance for team members during operations undertaken at their request and during a variable number of training sessions.

     

  3. From the Sports Council. A small grant is received for training purposes.

     

  4. The Ministry of Defence. The MOD funds the greater part of the insurance which is required for helicopter training with civilian rescue teams. It is clear however that Mountain Rescue has now got to look for additional sources of funding.

     

This is due to:-

  1. An increasing work load and an increasing expectation by those injured or lost in the hills. 
  2. An increasing sophistication and cost of equipment.

  3. A general shortage of money for donations probably due to the current national financial situation. 

It is the wish of almost all those involved in Mountain Rescue that we should continue to provide a free service. There would be little chance of collecting a fee from the majority of our clients. A great number are either young people or retired or unemployed. Insurance is not an easy answer as it is almost impossible to define a 'mountain' in this country when towns such as Sheffield and Manchester have high moorland (over 450 metres) and crags within their city boundaries. A study of the accident figures shows that many rescues occur in areas which are not particularly high and which the local inhabitants would call 'dog walking' country.

The honorary treasurer handles quite large sums of money, passing on to teams and regions various grants received from time to time for training etc. He also coordinated a scheme where the purchase of the greater part of the medical and first aid equipment is funded by various regional health authorities through the ambulance service. In Wales a similar scheme exists through the Welsh office.