A Search and Rescue (SAR) Incident Management platform that allows agencies to call out mountain rescue teams is being used to great effect by An Garda Síochána to alert specific teams of incidents in their area. SARCALL is now being taken on board by the National Ambulance Service, to allow the NAS to also task mountain rescue teams.

First developed by mountain rescue personnel in the UK, SARCALL is a software package that enables mountain rescue teams to locate incidents, record incident data and capture debriefing data. It has now been adopted by MR teams in Ireland.

Pat Holland, SARCALL’s Development Officers for Mountain Rescue Ireland (MRI, told ‘Emergency Services Ireland’ that the system, which has been live now for over a year, was introduced as a call-out mechanism, issuing texts to activate teams.

Holland, who is a member of the South Eastern Mountain Rescue Association (SEMRA), said that the use of SARCALL is growing, with a live log being established by the call-out officer, making it an incident command system.

“And, we’re seeing interactions between An Garda Síochána and the National Ambulance Service, so the use is developing organically.

“The system increases situation awareness – for instance, if I’m driving to an incident, I can stop, read SARCALL, and then I’m fully briefed when I get there. So, the system reduces the time spent briefing individuals.”

A robust logged system for calling out teams, maintaining incident logs, and informing all involved agencies, SARCALL is certainly proving popular with teams on the ground.