Going to the Hills? Police and partners in Highlands and Islands re-launch updated contact form
9th September 2013
Police in the Highlands and Islands and partner organisations are asking mountaineers and hill walkers to complete the updated "Going to the Hills” contact form this winter, prior to heading out into the Scottish mountains.
The form asks for a few simple details to assist in a search and rescue, should the need arise, such as details of those in the walking or climbing group, planned route, expected return time as well as medical and emergency contact information. It takes no longer than a few minutes to complete and could make a huge difference if you find yourself in difficulty.
Previously the form was only available to pick up in person but the updated version is now available online on the Police Scotland, Mountaineering Council for Scotland and Scottish Mountain Rescue websites.
Superintendent Gus MacPherson of Police Scotland Highland and Islands Division met with Chairman of Scottish Mountain Rescue, Jonathan Hart and Heather Morning, Mountain Safety Advisor for The Mountaineering Council of Scotland at the Cairngorm Mountain to discuss the form and encourage its use.
Superintendent MacPherson said: "The contact form is not a new idea but as we approach the autumn and winter months it is the ideal time to encourage its use by all those who enjoy the outdoors.
"This information can provide an early alert if you or your party fall into difficulty and early notification can make all the difference to your safety especially during poor weather and low temperatures.”
Jonathan Hart said: "Scottish Mountain Rescue is a world class voluntary service. In order to continue to deliver the best possible outcomes for those in distress in the Scottish Mountains, our volunteer Team Leaders require early notification as well as accurate and reliable data relating to any Mountain incident. By encouraging wider use of the ‘going to the hills form' we can ensure that accurate and detailed emergency contact details are available to Police Scotland whom coordinate the response to these incidents.
"Early notification, along with accurate incident information means that the most appropriate assets are tasked to any mountain incident and that Scottish Mountain Rescue Team Leaders can ensure that those in distress in the Scottish mountains can be delivered safely and efficiently into definitive care, with the minimum of risk to team members.”
Heather Morning said: "I would encourage anyone; but particularly those who head out into the hills alone, to print off a few of these forms and complete one each time they head out. No one thinks that they will have problems in the hills, but sometimes the unexpected happens. Taking a few minutes to complete a ‘Going to the Hills' form could prove to be the most important thing you have ever done.”
For further information on safety and advice if you are planning venturing walking or climbing visit http://www.scotland.police.uk/keep-safe/safety-advice/out-and-about/mountain-rescue-and-safety/ or to access the "going to the Hills” form visit http://www.scotland.police.uk/assets/pdf/keep_safe/going-to-the-hills.
Pictured from L to R: Superintendent Gus MacPherson (Police Scotland Highland and Islands Division), Andy Rockall (Scottish Mountain Rescue) and Heather Morning (The Mountaineering Council of Scotland) at the Cairngorm Mountain base.