Mountain Rescue

Part of First Minister's Question Time — Prime Minister (Meetings) – in the Scottish Parliament at 3:11 pm on 13 March 2003.

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Photo of Fergus Ewing Fergus Ewing Scottish National Party 3:11, 13 March 2003

As someone who served on a mountain rescue team for the best part of two decades, I am aware that not all mountain rescue team members have a radio handset. Will the First Minister undertake to ensure that, when the new frequency comes in, every member of every rescue team in Scotland will be properly equipped with a handset?

From what he has said, the First Minister is aware that the key problem is core funding. Will he acknowledge that we are receiving a magnificent service on the cheap from a group of people who, according to health and safety rules, should be equipped more frequently with new ropes, harnesses and other equipment? That aspect in particular increases the need for a proper level of budgeting for our rescue teams. Will he provide that level of support to our rescue teams in Scotland?