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Team Leader's Report 2018

Feel it Still

Another year and as ever lots going on.

This year I would like to start with a thank you to the Team members, support members, family, friends, fundraisers and those who support the team in other means. An especially big thank you to my wife and children for their continuous support during my time as Team Leader.

I would also like to thank St John Scotland and SMR for their continued support in funding and advice.

All of us associated with the Team were delighted to learn that our very own Mario Di Maio is to receive an MBE. Mario has been both the youngest and now the oldest Team member and when not regaling tales of old on Radio Scotland is still an active team member, keen cyclist, wood worker, “camper-vanner”, enthusiastic geologist and vehicle washer. To be honest, I get tired thinking about it all the stuff he gets up to!

Walk on the Wild Side

The team saw the 1st callout of 2018 on New Years day, thankfully the missing person turned up of their own accord. Sadly the 2nd callout of the year towards the end of January had a less happy outcome and saw the team on Lochnagar in very testing conditions over several days.

Early February and the team deployed to assist looking for two missing ski tourers, thankfully they were well equipped and were picked up the following morning by rescue 951. Things were quiet until June when a small party were sent to Bennachie to assist some walkers who had got themselves a wee bit stuck and in July we went and rescued a walker with a twisted ankle from the summit of Clachnaben , it is quite impressive just where a Landrover will reach.

September saw a “two In one” day with missing walkers being located and then a hardy lady with a lower limb injury.

October had another pair of lost walkers and then quite a busy November with first a lost walker at Etchacen, a missing person in Cambus o May and then multiple deployments to assist Police Scotland in the search for missing Teenager Liam Smith, who at the time of writing is still missing.

The period between Christmas and Hogmanay saw the last shout of the year with a return to Bennachie.

All in all the team were deployed on 16 separate occasions with varying degrees of involvement, on varied taskings in all elements possible.

Moments

The Stork keeps visiting AMRT and this year we saw the safe arrivals of babies Rhan and Rathbone (Baby Doig made the last newsletter). Romance continues to blossom with proposals from Jamie to Naomi, Andy to Alisa and Tank to Laura (there’s a medal in the making), Good luck all. (you will need it). Two of the couples are not hanging around and are getting wed in 2019!

Running Up That Hill

As ever throughout the calendar year the team has plenty to keep themselves busy.  Between talks about what the team do, hill safety, appearances at events and so on. Team members also participated in sporting events around the country. (Kerr, are you sure you made it to the final of “Ninja Warrior”?)

2019 Training calendar looks as good as ever and with the reintroduction of a training committee we should see some fresh ideas. Recruitment is strong and we took on 4 probationers late 2018 and will continue to develop their MRT skills. We currently have a waiting list of potential recruits and will look to take on the next batch of probationers late 2019.

From Now On

As you have probably come to realise, team life is “quite” busy with many activities; the callouts, the training, the events, the back office but one area that leaves us in a perpetual state of unease is that of funding. I am a believer in ensuring the team has the best kit available to them that we can reasonably afford. No doubt an MRT is hard on their kit and most of us know that the high-performance kit also comes with the highest price tag. (even though we enjoy great discounts from many local suppliers).

SMR has recognised this and now employ a fulltime fundraiser which teams have and will benefit from on a national level. For me I would like to see a steady income coming into the team that looks after the annual running of the team. The big expenditure items such a vehicles and full kit replacements are above that. We have recently taken on some advice from a Branding consultant to help us identify additional means of funding and suitable partnering. Whilst this may sound all “business lingo” as a modern team we need to be flexible in the manner we can create income. We rely heavily on our annual sponsored walk and our fantastic walkers (many of them regulars) who do a brilliant job in raising much needed funds. But unfortunately, it is not enough.  In 2018 we were fortunate enough to be supported by quite a few brilliant groups and individuals who raised great amounts of money which are mentioned elsewhere in the Newsletter.

The aspiration is to be able to generate additional funds but maintain the team and MRT ethos. No easy feat.

So, this year I would urge you to get involved in our walk, raise funds if you can or think of suitable partners that could support and keep Aberdeen Mountain Rescue Team operational.

Scott Stevens

Team Leader