Surge in Outdoor Activities Leads to Expansion of Tayside Mountain Rescue Team

Due to a significant increase in outdoor enthusiasts exploring the natural beauty of Perth and Kinross, Police Scotland’s Tayside Mountain Rescue Team is set to expand.

Team leader PC Paul Morgan informed Perth and Kinross councillors of the decision to increase the team’s size from 16 to 20 officers over the next couple of years, in response to call-outs more than doubling since 2019.

Image: Police Scotland (Tayside) Mountain Rescue Team

The rise in outdoor activities, including the use of electric bikes, paddleboards, and traditional walking, has contributed to the increased demand for mountain rescue services.

The Tayside team, with bases in Perth, Dundee, and Forfar, is ready to deploy across the region, ensuring the safety of residents and visitors alike.

In addition to the police team, Tayside boasts a volunteer team established in 1976, comprising 35 skilled mountaineers.

This volunteer team saw a 72 per cent increase in call-outs in 2023, highlighting the growing need for rescue services in the area.

PC Morgan, the only full-time officer in the team, emphasised the broad scope of their work, which ranges from responding to broken bones on hillsides to conducting water rescues and mental health crisis interventions.

The team’s versatility and wide-ranging skill set are crucial for reaching and assisting those in hard-to-reach places where conventional services may not be able to go.

The increase in outdoor activity, partly attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, has introduced more people to the countryside, leading to a higher incidence of accidents and emergencies.

The Tayside Mountain Rescue Team’s expansion is a proactive measure to continue providing timely and effective assistance to those in need, reinforcing the area’s commitment to outdoor safety.

This development is welcomed by local councillors, who recognise the rescue team as an invaluable asset to the region, ensuring that Perthshire’s outdoor spaces can be enjoyed safely by all.

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