rescue ('reskju:) vb, -cuing, -cued, to bring (someone or something) out of danger, etc.; deliver or save
Statistics published by Mountaineering Councils and Mountain Rescue teams world-wide indicate that mountainous areas are being used more frequently for recreational use.
A well known comedian questioning why people climb mountains was told 'because they're there'. He replied 'so's an elephants ####'.
People go into the mountains for various reasons, to seek solitude, to seek adventure, to challenge themselves. On the mountains of Ireland you will meet people of all ages, taking part in all sorts of activities such as hiking, hunting, fishing, climbing, bird watching, berry picking, paragliding, mountain biking etc. Because of the nature of the environment all of those activities carry a certain amount of risk. A basic amount of preparation will reduce that risk. Preparation includes training in your own sport or activity and also training in mountain skills. Mountain skills can be learned at any outdoor activity centre or from an experienced hillwalker.
Mountain skills training will enable the hill user to be aware of the hazards of changeable weather, suitable clothing and foot wear to use, how to use a map and compass for safe navigation. Most importantly, mountain skills will enable a person to be comfortable on the hill, to enjoy their day out and return safely to civilisation.
Unfortunately statistics published by Mountaineering Councils and Mountain Rescue teams world wide also indicate that an increasing number of people are venturing into the mountains and hills without adequate preparation.
Up to a few years ago, when the mountains were not very much frequented, people in difficulty had to rely on themselves or assistance from other parties walking or climbing in the area. It is out of this tradition of mutual support and a willingness to help others that encouraged the setting up of the first organised mountain rescue teams.
The number of rescue statistics in the Wicklow mountains have grown from three incidents in 1983 to over fifty in 2004. It is accepted that this increase is due to the proximity of Dublin city to the Wicklow mountains, extra leisure time and a false sense of safety caused by the increased use of mobile phones and hand held GPS receivers.
Despite the increased number of incidents, the volunteers that make up the mountain rescue teams, continue to leave behind their families and homes, to put their own lives at risk, to help people in trouble in the mountains, at all time of the year and in all weather conditions.