Primed to help on the hill – covid or no covid

Out on the hill with Arrochar Mountain Rescue Team

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Typical Argyll weather met potential new recruits to Arrochar Mountain Rescue Team as they headed out on to Beinn Narnain for a wee taster of life in this lifesaving volunteer unit.

Provided the candidates liked what they saw in the dreich conditions on Sunday November 15, they will already have joined their first training session on Wednesday this week.

Joining the team does not happen overnight, and it can take between 18 and 24 months of training in all weathers in a variety of terrain with specialist equipment to be voted on as a full team member. After that, it takes commitment and dedication to keep up the vital work carried out by the unit, one of two such volunteer organisations in Argyll along with Oban Mountain Rescue Team.

Its origins go back to the 1950s, when Johnny Paterson and family of Succoth Farm, Arrochar, were asked by Dunoon police to set up a team to assist with mountain rescues.

Arrochar Mountain Rescue Team these days has around 30 trained volunteer team members, available 365 days of the year when requested by Police Scotland – and its work has continued throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Men and woman from many different backgrounds take pride in the team’s professionalism, sharing a straightforward desire to assist people in distress on the hill.

There is a significant cost to delivering this service, and while funding from the Scottish Government and major sponsor St John Scotland is very much appreciated, it does not cover all of the team’s running costs and public donations and fundraising activities are essential to enable the team to operate to the high standards expected.

Running costs include insurance and maintenance for vehicles and the team base along with replacement of essential equipment.

To support the work of Arrochar Mountain Rescue Team, you can make a secure online donation through the team website or visit the Arrochar Mountain Rescue Team JustGiving page.