MRT - Alison Todd
I got involved with the Grampian Police Mountain Rescue Team in 1991 (going out on training days as I lived and worked in the Braemar area) and formally joined the Braemar civilian team in 1996.
When I joined the Police I had to officially leave but was still allowed out on training until a place became available in the Grampian Police Team. So that’s a long time 30 years in the hills with the MRT and with 25 years of being a serving member. I have also been the only fully qualified Police MRT SARDA dog handler embedded in a Police MRT. A Search and Rescue Dog Association Handler is someone who is a qualified mountain rescue person who has the addition of a fully trained air scenting search dog who can find missing persons in open areas. I can and have been deployed all over Scotland.
I was and have only ever been the only female Grampian Police Team member.
I joined Tayside Police Team in 2017 when I transferred to Tayside where I am now one of three.
I have never faced any male/female barriers. The biggest one was getting into the old sea kings as it was a run and jump but the winch man always jumped out and provided a knee for me to step up on.
My proudest moment/best thing is that I have been part of a team of people who selflessly go out in any conditions to rescue people or bring loved ones back knowing that if it ever happened to me then I would hope they would come and get me. On average I get 3 callouts per month with my team and potentially another two callouts for SARDA.
Because I worked in an outdoor shop before I joined the civilian team and had been on many training days I fitted in with no issues – the guys already trusted me to sell them good equipment – I don’t think it would have been any different if I was male as I had already made that bond.
I would encourage anyone thinking about MRT to come out and see what we do.