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Donegal Mountain Rescue can be contacted through the following emails
Donegal Mountain Rescue Team are a 24 hour a day, 365 days a year voluntary emergency response team providing emergency search and rescue response in extreme terrain and mountain conditions throughout the entire county.
Due to the significant increase in the number of callouts experienced in the last two years the team are now seeking to recruit enthusiastic individuals interested in working as part of the team to achieve high standards of casualty care in the Donegal mountains.
We are seeking people with a strong interest in mountaineering activities , a high level of commitment , be reasonably fit and possess hill walking / climbing experience , some navigation and hill skills as well as a commitment to participating in regular team training and callouts.
Recruitment to the emergency response team is open to people over 18 years of age living within one hour of the county’s mountainous areas.
It takes approx 1-2 years to progress from being a probationary member to qualifying as a full operational member. The Donegal Mountain Rescue training programme covers four core areas namely, mountain operations, search and rescue operations, casualty care, and operations co-ordination.
We would also be interested in hearing from members of the public that may be interested in assisting us with the various other duties involved in running a voluntary mountain emergency response team including organising fundraising days and events, general administration , vehicle maintenance etc.
Donegal Mountain Rescue will advertise on this page when recruiting fro new Team Members. Please check back regularly for updates relating to recruitment.
Irish Mountain Rescue Association
This is the website of the Irish Mountain Rescue Association which represents the twelve voluntary mountain rescue teams on this island. There is general information regarding the teams under the headings on the left hand side of the page. You can contact IMRA through the ‘Contact Us’ page of this website or by phoning our Development Officer on 023-59822 (locally) or +353-23-59822 (internationally).
Mountain Rescue is a 24 hour 999/112 emergency service provided by completely voluntary teams funded by state funds and public donations.
In an emergency, a M.R. team is called-out by phoning 999/112 and asking the emergency operator for ‘Mountain Rescue’. You will then be put through to a Garda station where your call will be answered, the situation assessed and, if necessary, the team called out.
The purpose the Irish Coast Guard is:
“To reduce the loss of life within the Irish Search and Rescue Region and on rivers, lakes and waterways and to protect the quality of the marine environment within the Irish Pollution Responsibility Zone, Harbours and Maritime Local Authority areas and to preserve property.
To promote safety standards, and by doing so, prevent, as far as possible, the loss of life at sea and on inland waters and other areas, and to provide an effective emergency response service”.
The Irish Coast Guard (IRCG) makes up one arm of the Maritime Safety Services, the other being the Maritime Safety Directorate. Both arms are due to merge into a new “one stop shop” Agency for all maritime safety matters.
Glen of Imall Mountain Rescue Team
The Glen of Imaal Mountain Rescue Team was formed in 1983, when the need for a quick response local mountain rescue team was identified. During that year, there were 3 accidents in the area in quick succession – one of which was fatal.
Our primary response area covers all mountains in county Wicklow. We are also asked to assist neighbouring teams such as Dublin/Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team and the South East Mountain Rescue Association outside that primary area.
The founding members of the team while seeking first-aid support and training, contacted the Irish Red Cross Society, and recognising the merits of such a connection, became a branch of the society.
Dublin and Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team
The Dublin & Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team is a voluntary 999 / 112 service available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Our team’s main area of operation is in the Dublin and Wicklow mountains. We also cover as far as the Cooley Mountains in Co. Louth. The team will also travel to other parts of the country when requested, to back up other Mountain Rescue Teams and the Gardai.
It is the team’s aim to provide a professional mountain rescue service for those who find themselves in need. This may include, Mountain or Crag accidents or lost /overdue / missing persons. In the last number of years the team responded to over 50 “call-outs” on average. This does not include the behind the scenes work of training and committee meetings
Mayo Mountain Rescue Team
Mayo Mountain Rescue Team was founded in the late 1980s as part of the Western Mountain Rescue Team. At the start activity was low with few callouts and little organisation and training. In 1996 MMRT recruited many new members and had a total of 35 members. From there training schedules were put in place and fund-raising committees organised.
Mourne Mountain Rescue Team
The Mourne Mountain Rescue Team was established in 1962. It was the first mountain rescue team in Ireland and it currently consists of 25 full members & 6 associate members with this number increasing every year.
The Mourne Mountain Rescue Team (hereafter referred to as “The Team”) is made up entirely of volunteers who live close to the Mournes.
Everyone on The Team has something in common in that they are all skilled and experienced mountaineers. Turning out in all weathers, day or night, 365 days a year. The Team share a common purpose, to help anyone who is in trouble on the hills. Based at the foot of Slieve Donard in the costal town of Newcastle, all operations and callouts are conducted from the PSNI Station.
North West Mountain Rescue Team
The North West Mountain Rescue Team has over thirty members and operates over a wide area of Northern Ireland.
The team provides Search and Rescue Services in the Sperrin Mountains, North Antrim and in Co. Fermanagh, and support to neighbouring areas.
The team is committed to achieving the best possible outcome for those overtaken by misfortune in the hills. A task made possible by highly skilled members who are prepared to turn out in all weathers, day or night, 365 days a year.
The NWMRT is entirely voluntary and depends mostly on public support to finance its operations.
Search and Rescue Dog Association Ireland
SARDA Ireland (Search and Rescue Dog Association-Ireland) is a voluntary 999 / 112 emergency search and rescue organisation concerned with the training, assessment and deployment of Air Scenting Search and Rescue Dogs, to search for missing persons in the mountains, woodlands rural and urban areas including rivers, lakes and seashores, as well as avalanches and demolished buildings.
SARDA Ireland was set up in 1987 and is a member of the Irish Mountain Rescue Association and NSARDA National Search & Rescue Association in the UK comprising of members such as SARDA England, Scotland, Wales & The Lakes.
SARDA Ireland currently has 18 dogs in the organisation at various stages of training and qualification. Our qualified Search Dog teams are on call 24hrs a day 365 days of the year. SARDA can go to a call out anywhere in Ireland.
South Eastern Mountain Rescue Association
South Eastern Mountain Rescue Association (a registered charity) are a voluntary, non profit organisation affiliated to Mountain Rescue Ireland. We hold responsibility for rescues in the mountains of the South East of Ireland.
Mountaineering Council of Ireland
The Mountaineering Council of Ireland (MCI) is the National Governing Body for the sport of mountaineering in Ireland. The MCI covers the full spectrum of mountaineering activities including bouldering, hill walking, rambling, rock climbing, alpinism and indoor climbing.
The aims of the MCI include:
promoting mountaineering activities in Ireland;
providing appropriate services to members;
promoting safety and training among walkers and climbers
encouraging responsible use of the mountain environment.
Membership of the MCI is open to both clubs and individuals. Membership benefits include civil liability insurance, quarterly members’ magazine and a personalised membership card. The MCI is supported by grant aid from the Irish Sports Council and Sport Northern Ireland.
Mountain Rescue Association
The Mountain Rescue Association (MRA) was established in 1958 at Timberline Lodge at Mount Hood, Oregon making us the oldest Search and Rescue association in the United States.
With over 90 government authorized units in the US, Canada and other countries, the MRA has grown to become the critical mountain search and rescue resource in the United States.
Irish Cave Rescue
The Purpose of Cave Rescue:
Caves, potholes, abandoned mines and surface shafts, and other underground cavities exist within every county in Ireland. Occasionally people or animals may get into difficulties in these and may require assistance from experienced personnel.
The Irish Cave Rescue Organisation (ICRO) is a self help organisation specialising in cave rescue who have recognised the need for expertise in such situations and who will attend, manage and carry out rescues at the request of the police.
Throughout Ireland cave rescue is the responsibility of the police forces, the Garda Síochána in the Republic and the PSNI in Northern Ireland.
Mountain Rescue in England and Wales
Chris Bonington, C.B.E
Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland
The MOUNTAIN RESCUE COMMITTEE of SCOTLAND is the representative and coordinating body for mountain rescue services in Scotland. It is administered by an Executive Committee which reports to the General Committee comprising of Mountain Rescue Teams and other organisations.
EU Civil Protection OSOCC Website
New Zealand Search and Rescue
SAR Operations in New Zealand can be separated into two main categories :-
Land and small area sea searches close to shore
Wide area sea or air (sometimes over land) searches
MRC Search Management Publications
Missing Person Behaviour Resources
To assist the Search Manager, the authors have assemble much of the current research on the way Missing or Lost persons behave. It includes current and on-going research on search subject from the British Isles and Ireland. It is intended to update this book annually to take account of this continuing study.
Whether you are looking for a waterproof jacket, an insulating base layer or lightweight travel trousers; when it comes to performance outdoor clothing, nothing comes close to Keela gear which is why it is tried, tested and trusted by Mountain Rescue Teams, Tactical Forces and Expedition teams all around the World.
Q: How do I contact the mountain rescue in case of emergency?
A: Mountain Rescue teams are called out by ringing the emergency number, 999/112 and asking for Mountain Rescue. You will then be put through to a Garda Station (in the South) or the Coastguard (in the North) who will take details from you and then alert the team. Do not try to ring the rescue team directly as the call must go through the 999/112 system.
The Rescue Team may call you back directly to get information so leave your phone on. Do not turn it off to save batteries and do not ring lots of other people. Leave it free for the Rescue Team to ring you.
Before you ring for help, try to make sure that you know where you are and what is the exact problem.
Remember that it will take some time for the team to get to you and that you need to take care of yourself and your group while you are waiting.
The Rescue Team base person may ask you various questions: you need to try to answer them. They may be trying to figure out where you are now, or how you got there. They may ask you to see if you can see lights or flares. All of these questions are important.
Q: How do I apply to join the mountain rescue team?
A: Adverts are put in the local papers during November each year.
Q: How many Call Outs do you have in a year?
A: The simple answer to this is whenever people get into trouble! Approx. 15-20 per year
Q: Where are you based?
A: Glenveagh National Park and Bluestacks Centre, Donegal Town
Q: Will a Mountain Rescue cost me anything?
A. In these islands, Mountain Rescue is a free volunteer service. The teams in Ireland are partially funded by government funds (see Supporting MR) but have to raise the balance by public fundraising, flag days, corporate donations etc. If you have been helped by Mountain Rescue, you might therefore consider giving that team some funds. You might even consider giving the national body, IMRA, some funds for national development.
Please note that on the European mainland, you should not rely on Mountain Rescue being free, it is not and most climbers and walkers would have taken out an insurance policy to cover any costs.
Q. What kind of gear does an MR team have?
A. Each hillgoing member of a MRT will have sufficent gear for themselves for their time on the hill. Team requirements vary but spare food, clothes, batteries, a torch, a night shelter, personal first aid kit will all have to be carried. Team gear will have to be added to that. A party will carry one or two radios, spare batteries, first aid material such as splints, a group shelter etc. These will be shared out among the party. Ropes, analgesic gases, climbing hardware and a stretcher may also have to be carried up the hill to the casualty site.
Most teams now have at least one vehicle. These are often ambulances or minibuses converted to form mobile bases and equipment carriers. Team transports, often Landrovers, are used to bring party members along forest tracks closer to the casualty site.
Q: What happens when a MRT is called-out?
A. When a team is alerted by the Gardai or PSNI, the senior member taking the call gets the basic details and then puts the team on stand-by or call-out depending on the urgency of the situation. Stand-by is where the team get ready to go while call-out means that they leave their home or work immediately.
The Call-out officer (senior member taking the call) will consider an immediate strategy. The urgency of the situation will be an important factor in the response.
Rescue of a casualty from a known location will require a different response from a search. Different tactics will be used. A rescue requires ‘Location, Assessment (of casualty status), Treatment and Evacuation’ while search calls for ‘Containment, Hasty Teams, Investigation and Planning’. Containment is where roads and tracks around a search area are patrolled to try to attract the lost person. The further a lost person wanders the more area has to be searched. Hasty Teams are small teams of MR personnel sent to the most obvious places. Investigation is work carried out by team members to try to understand why the person has gone missing and where they are most likely to be. Many searches go into a third or even fourth day and planning is vital, especially in the event of a major public volunteer response. Search Management is a taught skill now nearing a professional level in several teams. It relies not only on local knowledge, skilled searchers but also on statistical data which gives indications on how various types of missing person will behave. A missing child will behave very differently from an experienced hill walker.
The Call-out officer will set an RV (place for the team to meet) and time. All those team members who can attend will head for there (a call out typically will have 60% of the team attending) having made quick arrangements re: work and home commitments.
Having met, the team will arrive at the scene of the incident. Several things have to be done together at this time. Base, typically in a modified van, will have to be set up. Aerials may have to be erected. Team members will be collecting team gear to add to their rucksacks. This could include ropes, climbing hardware, first aid equipment. Party leaders will be briefed by the Team Leader. Party navigators will be checking their maps to find the best way in to their search area. Party radio holders will be testing their sets. Within a short time the parties are gone onto the hill. Other members arriving later are also sent up the hill with more equipment or held at base to form a reserve or to help in base. The Team Leader will be talking to the senior Garda officer in charge of the incident or to the senior member of other emergency services who have also been requested by the Gardai to help.
There may then be a lull while the parties on the hill are searching or providing first aid to the casualty. A Coastguard helicopter may be in the air bringing parties up the hill or evacuating the casualty. Base may also have to arrange for an ambulance to meet the parties coming down from the hill with the casualty.
When the casualty has been evacuated and all the team members are down, the team is stood down and all go home. Before they go to sleep however (operations often end in the small hours), gear and vehicles have to be made ready for the next call, personal gear and boots dried and work/family commitments dealt with.
Q. What kind of incidents do teams get called out to?
A. Mountain Rescue teams deal primarily with incidents in the mountains and in wilderness terrain (woods, waste land etc). On the hills they can deal with those who are lost or injured. Until the arrival of the mobile phone, most searches for those lost on the hills were from those expecting them down or at home. These calls often came about 9 pm on a Sunday evening when there was no sign of the relative returning home. More often today, the person themselves rings for help realising that they need help. In some cases the teams talk the person down, in other cases the team has to be called out to find the person.
While mobile phones may (if reception is good) make it easy to get help, they do not tell you where you are or keep you warm or feed you. Anyone going onto the hills should have a map and compass (and know how to use them), good clothing, good boots and spare food. A GPS (global positioning system) is only useful if you know how to use it and have spare batteries. It does not replace the basic requirements of a map and compass.
Mountain Rescue teams do not, as a rule, make any comment on those actions of those they help. Their members all had to learn hill craft in the past but the numbers of people in the hills without basic gear, especially on the so-called ‘tourist routes’ up major mountains does give cause for concern. It is possible to experience several types of weather in the one day on the Irish hills and this needs to be taken into account. It is also important to remember that most routes in the hills are completely unmarked and that a track can lead anywhere.
More serious incidents can arise from a medical emergency such as cardiac arrest or other illness or from a fall. Lower leg injuries are common and these are generally not life-threatening. More serious injuries do occur however in falls and these can be fatal.
Because of their skills in Search Management and Field Search several of the MR teams have, on occasion, assisted in major lowland searches.
Q. Who provides the mountain rescue service?
A. Mountain Rescue is a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year voluntary frontline emergency service. It is provided by Mountain Rescue Teams based in each mountainous region of Ireland. The teams are independent democratic bodies. A federation of the teams forms the overall body, the Irish Mountain Rescue Association which supports and represents them.
Each team is run by an elected committee with a Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer etc. Each team appoints a Team Leader (or similar term) who controls the team in operations. Most teams have deputy Team Leaders as well as a Training Officer, and specialists in aspects such as heights rescue and first aid.
Some of the teams have up to 50 or so members though others are smaller with c. 20 members.
The name of this organisation shall be the Donegal Mountain Rescue Team.
It will also be recognised under the Irish translation of its name, Foireann Tharrthála Sléibhe Thir Chonaill.
2. Main Objectives
a) To search for and rescue people in danger of injury or death in remote environments and extreme terrain, primarily in, but not confined to the mountainous regions of Co. Donegal.
b) To acquire resources and to train to develop protocols and techniques to achieve objective (a)
c) To inform the public about the hazards associated with outdoor activities in remote environments and to disseminate information about the team.
3. The Irish Mountain Rescue Association (IMRA)
The Donegal Mountain Rescue Team is recognised by and is represented on the Irish Mountain Rescue Association.
a) There shall be four levels of membership recognised by the Donegal Mountain Rescue Team:
i) Probationary Membership
ii) Mountain Responder Membership
iii) Base Responder Membership
iv) Associate Membership
i) Probationary Membership
All new members will spend a minimum of a one-year probationary period within the team before being eligible for operational or operational support membership. During this time their aptitude and potential for mountain rescue operations will be assessed through the team’s internal training system. Anyone who does not meet the required level of competence, fitness and attendance for a particular membership level may have their membership revoked at the discretion of the committee.
ii) Mountain Responder Membership
Mountain Responder members are active emergency responders on the call-out list. To qualify for mountain responder membership members must:
1) Attend a minimum of 50% of all Donegal MRT operations in each 3 month training period.
2) Successfully complete the internal personal competence assessments in Mountain Skills, Casualty Care and SAR Skills;
3) Maintain an experience logbook to record team training and relevant external training.If this level of attendance is not achieved the member will be informed in writing and their attendance level reviewed again in the next 3 month period. If they fail to achieve 50% attendance in this training period then the committee may adjust their membership status.
Mountain responder members may apply in writing to the committee for personal leave. During the time they specify they will be dropped from the operational call-out list and their training attendance will not be recorded for the purposes of the training system.
iii) Base Responder Membership
Base Responder members are active emergency responders on the call-out list. To qualify for operational membership members must:
1) Attend a minimum of 50% of all Donegal MRT operations in each 3 month training period.
2) Successfully complete the internal personal competence assessments in Communications, Casualty Care and SAR Operation Support Skills;
3) Maintain an experience logbook to record team training and relevant external training.If this level of attendance is not achieved the member will be informed in writing and their attendance level reviewed again in the next 3 month period. If they fail to achieve 50% attendance in this training period then the committee may adjust their membership status. Base responder members may apply in writing to the committee for personal leave. During the time they specify they will be dropped from the operational call-out list and their training attendance will not be recorded for the purposes of the training system.
iv) Associate Membership
Associate members of the team will not be listed on the active call-out list, but may be deployed to SAR incidents in a secondary support role at thediscretion of the team leader or the person appointed to act in their absence. Associate members are expected to assist the team in its non-emergency operations of administration, fundraising and educating the public about the hazards of remote environments and extreme terrain. All associate members are subject to probationary membership and must complete a Basic Rescue Skills course.
b) Membership shall be open to all who are over 18 at the time of application and who in the opinion of the executive committee subscribe to the aims of the team and meet the agreed criteria for the level of membership that they are applying for.
c) All applicants to the team must fully complete a membership form. Membership of the Donegal Mountain Rescue Team may involve significant contact with children and as such all members must also agree to a criminal records check by the GARDA for the purposes of child protection. The results of this check are confidential any disclosures will be only made to the current team leader.
d) Membership is valid to 31st December of each calendar year for a maximum of 12 months. Membership must be renewed each year. Any member who fails to return a membership renewal form by the date specified in the AGM notification documentation will have their membership suspended and they will loose all membership rights until the next committee meeting where their re-application can be considered.
e) Probationary members do not have voting rights at an AGM or EGM.
5. Membership Subscription
The annual subscription will be determined at the AGM. Payment will be in advance of the AGM to enable membership renewals to be processed.
6. Suspension & Expulsion of Members.
Any member may have their membership suspended or may have their membership revoked if, in the opinion of a majority of the committee, they have brought the team into disrepute through one or more of the following actions:
i) Disregard for the safety of themselves and others;
ii) Disregard for the charitable objectives and regulations of the team in the form of the Standard Operational Procedures and the Constitution of this organisation.
iii) Have publicly brought the team into disrepute.
iv) A member receives a legal or custodial sentence from a legal court of any country recognised by the United Nations.The duration and level of such action shall be at the discretion of the committee. Where a legal sentence has been imposed the period of suspension will at least equal that of the legal sentence. The committee is to call before them any member who is being considered for suspension or termination for that member to explain their actions. Any member who is suspended or whose membership is terminated has the right to appeal to a general meeting called under the conditions outlined within Section 11 of this constitution. The appeal may be made to the meeting, but the suspended or terminated member must leave the room whilst the team makes its final decision.
The officers of the team shall be:” Chairperson” Secretary” Treasurer” Team Leader” 2 Assistant Team Leaders” Training Officer” Equipment Officer” Public & Media Relations OfficerThe positions of team leader, assistant team leaders, training officer and equipment officer may only be held by members recognised as having current operational membership status within Donegal MRT. Other officer positions are open to all members. All officers shall be elected annually, but may be re-elected at the annual general meeting. The election of officers shall be carried out by secret ballot and a returning officer who is not a member of Donegal MRT shall be appointed to oversee the election. In the event that any officer position is unfilled or any officer is unable to complete their term of office then the executive committee has the power to co-opt any suitable member of the team to fufil the duties of the absent officer until the next EGM or AGM.
b) Executive Committee
The executive committee shall consist of the above named officers. The Executive committee shall have the power to co-opt the maximum of two members. At executive meetings each committee member has a vote. Co-opted members may only vote on matters relating to the subject for which they were co-opted. In the event of voting being equal on a particular motion, the chairman shall have a casting vote.At all meetings of the committee, Annual General Meetings and Extra-Ordinary General Meetings, a majority shall determine every question. Five members including one officer shall form a quorum.c) The duties of the above named officers are outlined in detail in the officer responsibility section of the operational guidelines.d) Should the chair be unable to attend any meeting the members shall elect one of their number to enable business to be completed.e) No officer shall hold the same committee position for a period longer than three consecutive years.
8. Powers of the Executive Committee
i) To carry out the general management of the team in line with this constitution.
ii) To acquire and dispose of property.
iii) To control expenditure.
iv) To borrow such sums as shall be required for the team and to charge property and assets of the team as securities for such sums borrowed.
v) To generate, agree, manage and report on a development plan to guide the team’s development.
9. Finance and Audit
a) The funds of the team shall be administered by Treasurer on behalf of the team. The treasurer and two other appointed officers shall be the signatories on cheques. The treasurer shall report the current state of the funds at each committee meeting. The bank shall be requested to send a statement of both current and deposit accounts directly to the treasurer at the end of every quarter.
b) All funds and assets, including equipment of the team shall be applied solely in furthering the charitable objects of the team, no part may be transferred directly or indirectly to members, with the exception of the reimbursement of reasonable and proper out of pocket expenses in furtherance of said objects.
c) The financial transactions of the team shall be recorded in a proper set of books and shall be audited annually by an auditor.
d) The financial year shall end on the 31st December and all accounts shall be made up to that date.
a) Types of MeetingThere shall be four types of meeting recognised by this constitution to conduct team business:
i) Annual General Meeting
ii) Extra-Ordinary General Meeting
iii) Team Meeting
iv) Executive Committee Meeting
b) Annual General Meeting
i) The annual general meeting shall be held before the 31st of January each year. The business of this meeting will be:-
a. Minutes of previous AGM.
b. Matters arising.
c. Chairpersons Report
d. Secretarys Report.
e. Treasurers Report
f. Team Leaders Report.
g. Training Officers Report.
h. Equipment Officers Report
i. PRO’s Report
j Determine Annual Subscription.
k. Election of Executive Committee.
l. Any Other Business
ii) The secretary shall furnish every member with a notice of the A.G.M. which shall be sent in order to give 28 days notice of such a meeting. A copy of the audited accounts shall be sent with such notices. Motions for consideration will be submitted in writing 14 days before the A.G.M. for inclusion in the agenda. A copy of the agenda will be sent to each member 7 days before the AGM.
c) Extra-Ordinary General MeetingsExtra-Ordinary General Meetings shall be called on any of the following instances:
i) When the Executive Committee considers it necessary.
ii) Upon the receipt of a request signed by at least 30% of all team members eligible to vote at such a meeting.Any such request shall specify the business to be reviewed and no other business shall be discussed at such meetings. Members shall be given 21 days notice of any E.G.M.s and the notice shall specify the reason for the meeting.
d) Team MeetingsA team meeting open to all members should be held once a month to discuss the business of the team. The business of such meetings shall be:-
i) Minutes of previous meeting.
ii) Matters arising.
iii) Chairpersons Report
iv) Secretary’s Report.
v) Treasurers Report
vi) Team Leaders Report.
vii) Training Officers Report.
viii) Equipment Officers Report
ix) PR Officers Report.
x) Membership Status
xi) Any other Business
The minutes of all meetings will be circulated to all members no less than two weeks after each meeting.
e) Executive Committee Meetings
The executive committee meetings shall be called as necessary or at the request of any three members of the committee. The business of such meetings will be confined to specific issues. General business will be dealt with at team meetings.
f) All team members are encouraged to attend all team meetings, executive meetings, EGMs and AGMs.
g) All team members may vote at a team meeting.
Amendments to the constitution of the team may be made only at the A.G.M. or E.G.M. convened for the purpose. The draft of such proposals or amendments shall be sent to every member at least 7 days before such a meeting. The amendments or alterations shall not be adopted save by a clear majority of members present. 50% of eligible voting members shall form a quorum. Any proposed amendments, additions or alterations must have been previously approved in writing by the Revenue Commissioners before a vote can be taken by team members.
12. Operational Guidelines
The Operational Guidelines provide specific guidance to executive officers and team members on their responsibilities and operational protocols. The Operational Guidelines can only be modified and adapted at a team meeting with a majority vote from team members.
a) Nominations for officers and Executive Committee must be given in writing at least two weeks before an AGM or EGM convened for the purpose of electing officers. The consent of the nominee must be obtained first and their signature must be on the nomination form. Each nominee must be proposed and seconded by eligible voting members under the terms of this constitution.
b) In the event of any eligible voting member of the team being unable to attend a general meeting that member may appoint in writing any other team member to vote by proxy. The proxy letter must be signed and dated and will be held on record with the minutes of the meeting.
The team shall only be dissolved by a resolution passed by a majority of at least five-sixths of the members present and voting at an Extraordinary General Meeting called for the purpose of considering such a dissolution. In the event of dissolution, the disposal of any income, property or assests will be carried out strictly in line with section 17 of this constitution.
The committee may at any time delegate any, but not all of its duties or powers to any sub-committee consisting of such members of the committee as it may think fit, and with the power to co-opt members. The sub-committee will present its recommendations to a team meeting for ratification.
16. Income and Property
The income and property of Donegal MRT shall be applied solely towards the promotion of its main objects as set forth in this constitution. No portion of the team’s income and property shall be paid or transferred directly or indirectly by way of dividend, bonus or otherwise howsoever by way of profit, to the members of the team. No officer shall be appointed to any office of the association paid by salary or fees, or receive any remuneration or other benefit in money or money’s worth from the association. However, nothing shall prevent any payment in good faith by the team of:
a) Reasonable and proper remuneration to any member of the team (not being an officer) for any services rendered to the team.
b) Interest at a rate not exceeding 5% per annum on money lent by officers or other members of the team to the team.
c) Reasonable and proper rent for premises demised and let by any member of the team (including any officer) to the team.
d) Reasonable and proper out of pocket expenses incurred by any officer in connection with their attendance to any matter affecting the team.
e) Fees, remuneration or other benefit in money or money’s worth to any company of which an officer may be a member holding not more than one hundredth part of the issued capital of such company.
18. Winding Up
If upon the winding up or dissolution of the team there remains, after the satisfaction of all its debts and liabilities, any property whatsoever, it shall not be paid or distributed among the members of the team. Instead such property shall be given or transferred to some other charitable institution or institutions having main objects similar to the main objects of the team. The institution or institutions to which the property is to be given or transferred shall prohibit the distribution of its or their income and property amongst its or their members to an extent at least as great as is imposed on the team under or by virtue of Clause 17 hereof. Members of the team shall select the relevant institution or institutions at or before the time of dissolution and if and so far as effect cannot be given to such provisions, then the property shall be transferred to some charitable object.
19. Additions, alterations or amendments
No addition, alteration or amendment shall be made to or in the provisions of this constitution for the time being in force unless the same shall have been previously approved in writing by the Revenue Commissioners.
20. Keeping of Accounts
Annual audited accounts shall be kept and made available to the Revenue Commissioners on request.
21. Distribution of this Constitution
Each member of Donegal MRT should be furnished with a copy of this constitution.
This constitution was agreed and adopted under the regulations laid out in this document by the majority of voting members of the Donegal Mountain Rescue Team an Extra-Ordinary General Meeting on 4th July 2005 in the Fire Station, Letterkenny, Co Donegal.
This constitution replaces all previous constitutions recognised by the Donegal Mountain Rescue Team.
For many years people have been straying into trouble in the wild and remote corners of Co Donegal. The only hope of search and rescue lay with the local guard and whatever hill farmers could be rounded up at short notice. Indeed in 1943 when an RAF Coastal Command Shorts Sunderland flying boat strayed off course and crashed high in the Bluestack Mountains it was the local Parish Priest who co-ordinated the initial rescue effort.
From the mid-1960′s organized rescue came through the An Oige youth hostel in Dunlewey. An Oige maintained mountain rescue equipment at the youth hostel and groups used the equipment as required. An Oige also maintained a national mountain rescue team which responded to large or extended incidents across the country.
The system worked well for the county until up to the early 1980′s. A review of mountain rescue provision in Northern Ireland in 1978 had led to the formation of the North West MRT based in Derry City in 1980. As this team began to develop its training programme brought its members to the Derryveaghs. Whilst training some local people from the area joined the North West team on its exercises. NWMRT also took on the responsibility of responding to incidents in Donegal alongside the existing An Oige arrangements. However, with a response time of nearly three hours to Errigal it soon became clear that there was a need for a more locally focused and formalized approach to mountain rescue.
In 1982 a group of people from the Dunlewey and Gweedore areas came together to take the first steps in establishing the Donegal Mountain Rescue Team. Initially they developed a training programme and used the An Oige equipment. In early 1983 the group approached the Irish Mountain Rescue Association (IMRA) and made an application for recognition as a mountain rescue team. This process of recognition took a full year and the Donegal Mountain Rescue Team was granted full recognition and membership of IMRA in 1984. The An Oige team disbanded the same year and many of its Dublin based members transferred to the newly formed Dublin/Wicklow MRT.
Donegal MRT continued to develop through the remainder of the 1980′s increasing its skills, experience and capability. During this time incidents were not very regular, however, the team gained valuable experience through a number of serious incidents including one fatality.
By the early 1990′s the team had purchased its first four wheel drive response vehicle which was a decommissioned Forward Control Land Rover Fire Engine. Shortly after an approach was made to Urdras Na Gaeltacht to rent a unit in the Gweedore Industrial Estate to act as a rescue station. In 1997 the team gained an specially equipped 110 Defender Landrover which replaced the now very aged Fire Engine.
By 2001 the team was well established in the Gweedore area, but was not present in other parts of the county. This meant long response times to areas of the Bluestack and Slieve League areas. As a result the team radically restructured in mid-2002 to begin to develop an effective response strategy which would serve the entire county.
Since 2002 the team has developed its skills and experience considerably and the number of incidents it handles each year has increased. Team members now live and work across the entire county and we have five response vehicles positioned strategically to ensure quick, effective responses to incidents. It is now 25yrs since the first steps were taken to establish our team and soon we will be 25yrs as a fully recognised Mountain Rescue Team. Our first 25years have seen the team move forward from humble beginnings and we are now looking forward to shaping our future ensuring that we develop, maintain and enhance mountain search and rescue services in the county.