The Scottish Parliament last night (13th June) heard a Member’s debate initiated by his Mid Scotland & Fife Conservative MSP, Liz Smith – herself a mountaineer.
Jamie McGrigor, Highlands & Islands Conservative MSP, praised the outstanding work of the mountain rescue teams in his region of the Highlands & Islands in the Scottish Parliament last night (13th June). He was speaking in a Member’s debate in Parliament initiated by his Mid Scotland & Fife colleague, Liz Smith MSP.
He said: ‘As a Highlands and Islands MSP, I congratulate Liz Smith on securing this debate on an important subject, and for being on the verge of completing the ascent of all the Munros in Scotland, which is no mean feat, to say the least.
‘I pay tribute to all the mountain rescue services in Scotland for the lives that they save and thank them for the personal risks that they take in order to do so. Like the men and women of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, those men and women are heroes and members of the finest of clubs, with the highest of principles. I particularly commend my local mountain rescue team in Oban, which is often out on Ben Cruachan; and the Glencoe mountain rescue service, which does so much.
‘I cannot leave the chamber without mentioning Hamish MacInnes of Glencoe – a man who is revered in mountaineering circles and who, with his colleagues, has brought help and succour to so many people in distress. I commend his writings on mountaineering to those who have not been lucky enough to read them.
‘If ever a service could be said to be an outstanding example of the best of the big society, it is the mountain rescue services of Scotland. They have earned the gratitude of so many. Long may they continue to do so.’
Dave Thompson, SNP MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, praised the Mountain Rescue Teams in his constituency which include Cairngorm, Lochaber, Glencoe and Skye. He asloe drew attention to the need for helicopter availability in the area.
He said: ‘Of 27 mountain rescue teams affiliated to the Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland, the busiest are in my constituency and, since the New Year, the Lochaber and Glencoe Mountain Rescue Teams have had 75 call outs.
‘The Highlands of Scotland have long been praised for the beauty of our majestic mountains and the glorious glens that stretch out before walkers, and Mountain Rescue is of vital importance to visitors and residents alike. The men and women who volunteer their time, energy and often their safety for the well-being of others cannot be thanked enough.
‘A helicopter in the area would serve the needs of mountain rescue teams much better, and would save lives. Last year, the Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team called for the assistance of a helicopter more than 50 times so there is a definite need.’