Members of the RAF Mountain Rescue Service, from RAF Valley and RAF Lossiemouth have visited the far east recently to help train their counterparts in the Hong Kong Civil Aid Service.
The RAF Mountain Rescue Service has maintained close links with the Hong Kong Civil Aid Service since 1959, when this organisation took responsibility for missing people in the hills of Hong Kong following the closure of the RAF Hong Kong Mountain Search & Rescue Company. These links are still maintained today as the RAF conducts biannual inspections and training for the Hong Kong based rescuers.
The Hong Kong Mountain Search & Rescue Company is a volunteer organisation that provides a valuable service by helping missing or injured people in the hills around Hong Kong. Since its inception, the RAF Mountain Rescue Service has maintained close links and has undertaken training for their Hong Kong counterparts, along with assurance and standards checks during the biannual inspections. The latest visit took place in November 2015, following a request through the British Embassy in Beijing; the visit also providing an invaluable engagement opportunity for the UK.
RAF Mountain Rescue Service The RAF Team undertook a 5 day assessment of the rescue skills and techniques employed by the Mountain Search & Rescue Company which included a capability demonstration in conjunction with the Hong Kong Rescue Helicopter to the Hong Kong Press. Meanwhile, the RAF personnel instructed on the latest technical rescue techniques and casualty handling procedures, before providing more in-depth training to the local trainee instructors. The standards check proved that the Mountain Search & Rescue Company provided a capable and effective service.
Chief Technician Lee Wales, the Chief Instructor and RAF Valley Mountain Rescue Team Leader said, “I have been extremely impressed with the Mountain Search & Rescue Company member’s level of dedication and commitment. Their enthusiasm and team spirit throughout the standards check and during the training course has been outstanding”.
Cpl Ali Beer, who is a Paramedic and part-time member of the RAF Lossiemouth Mountain Rescue Team, said, “It has been a great experience work with Mountain Search & Rescue Company over the last two weeks. They have a very professional and enthusiastic attitude to rescue and casualty care. This trip has been made even more enjoyable by the fantastic level of hospitality we have received”.
Sqn Ldr Si Moore, officer commanding the RAF Mountain Rescue Service, said: “The Civil Aid service Mountain Search & Rescue Company has progressed to become an extremely capable rescue organisation and the RAF Mountain Rescue Service is honoured to be involved in their development over the past years. Like their UK counterparts, the personnel are volunteers who have a strong desire to contribute something back to their society; they should be immensely proud of their achievements”.
Author: Sqn Ldr Dave Williams
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