Isn't there this "propsal for debate" thingy on line? Set up by Camaron, 10 Downing Street.
You get 10,000 replies and it has to be debated in the Commons?
So if most of us on this forum and others I/am sure you take part in, or post links to the like of BMC, MCofS, Ramblers, Backpacking Club, etc. took part. We would get enough to have it 'debated' in the Commons again.
I went to set one up and found one already in place, sadly with only 4 signatures.
I'l sign it tomorrow and begin sharing (can't do it from this pc), but if anyone wants to get started here's the link HERE.
Please feel free to use the image above which is from my blog when sharing on facebook if you want.
We do pay for SAR along with the rest of our excellent armed forces but not specifically to pick up injured or lost hobbiests - farmers don't come into that category. If the military need has changed hobbiests just need to suck it up as far as SAR is concerned. Brilliant while it lasts.
The privatised SAR will not be aimed specifically at picking up lost hobbyists though, will it?
Chewie makes a good point. Didn't the privatised railway network (Railtrack) go bust? Is that a risk that should be taken?
As taxpayers we pay for the existing SAR service, and will pay for the new one as well, albeit the work will be carried out by a private contractor.
Again I'll make clear some people are mixing up the subject of SAR with MR.
Mike, I agree. However what percentage of people who want Mountain Rescue ask for the police first? If the actions of some are the benchmark, they will ask for MR and expect to be picked up by chopper.
I don't know if Englandwales is the same, but in Scotland the call goes to the police. The police then decide whether to inform the MRT, however it's still a police matter. Should the MRT think the call out is unnecessary, the police should perhaps look at charging the individuals with wasting police time.
Back to Search and Rescue helicopters:
I live near Airdrie, between Glasgow and Edinburgh. We have some land around here which is pretty rough, but not mountainous. An old fellow I know who lives in the next village was out for a walk on the moor when he collapsed, having suffered a heart attack. The emergency services decided that the best way to attend was by helicopter, and he was taken out by big yellow taxi. Now if we go down the route that all walkers should have insurance, who needs it, and where does this apply? Beaches? Often innaccessible by road vehicle. Woodlands? Basically anywhere "off road". Should farmers have to take out insurance as they perhaps are 1km or so from a road? What about in winter when places normally reachable by road are cut off and SAR helicopters are sent to respond. Should they also have to pay extra premiums. I don't believe they should. I haven't even touched on rescue on water either, which opens up another can of worms.
We have an outstanding search and rescue helicopter service paid for through taxation. We are now being asked to accept a substitute service, still paid for by taxation, that many people, particularly within MRT and SAR itself, feel is off a lesser standard. That's the real issue, and there's a danger that in the confusion of the debate, that we lose sight of that, and the military SAR at the same time.