The first talk in the 2013/14 season of Kirriemuir Probus meetings got of to an enlightening start when the club welcomed Alph Ingram.
A member of the Tayside Mountain Rescue team, Alph started his talk by first explaining that they don’t rescue mountains!
The teams of volunteers are defined as Land-based Search & Rescue and are totally reliant on donated funds for their operations, in the same way the RNLI (Sea Based Search & Rescue) are. Tayside Mountain Rescue are an operational agency of Police Scotland. The team was formed in 1976 and has had to face a plethora of different rescue situations - ‘Munro Baggers’ trying to reach Scotland’s high peaks, geologists intent on examining obscure rock formations, walkers out to study Scotland’s flora and fauna and fishermen trying to get the best fish in the remotest of Scotland’s lochs. There are also more light aircraft crashes in Scotland than most people realise and locating the wreckage is often very difficult. Regrettably, Scotland has a high suicide rate and 30 to 35% of the call-outs the Mountain Rescue team receive are from relatives and friends of people who have set out to commit suicide. These calls make a considerable amount of work for the rescue teams since the casualties rarely leave a note to say where they are going. Alph concluded his excellent presentation by telling members rescue dogs’ sense of smell is about 1,000 times better than man. They see searching for injured people as a game and is given a toy to play with before the casualty’s injuries are attended to (much to the surprise of many casualties) – otherwise the dog would cease to search. The vote of thanks was given by David Bremner. The next meeting will be on Wednesday, September 18 when George Milne will give a talk on the ‘Flora & Fauna of Angus’.