Join the Team

Interested in becoming an operational member?

We are a team of men and women from all walks of life who share a passion for the outdoors and believe that doing something worthwhile for others is reward enough. As unpaid volunteers, our strength lies in how we work together often in demanding situations to assist others in their hour of need.

If you feel the same way and can answer yes to the following then operational membership could be for you.

  • I am at least 18 years of age.
  • I live and work within the Team’s operational area, ideally close to one of the Team’s bases or the hills, moors and crags of Northumberland.
  • I am physically fit and endeavour to remain so.
  • I am an experienced outdoors person confident in moving safely and competently over hill/moorland terrain in both summer and winter conditions.
  • I am able to take care of myself in the outdoor environment and navigate in all conditions and types of terrain.
  • I can take on responsibility for myself and work well in a team environment.
  • I have a good degree of availability for attending incidents at any time, day or night.
  • I have suitable transport or other firm arrangements to attend training and incidents.

If you said yes to all of the above and you are still interested in applying to become an operational member please read on.

Your commitment to the team

Operational membership of the Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team should not be taken lightly. Although we are all volunteers, the Team provides a professional and high standard of service to our calling authorities. We are held in high regard and maintaining this reputation is reliant on the full commitment of our members.

We, therefore, expect you to commit to:

  • Attending a very high percentage of training events and achieving set standards of competence in a reasonable time.
  • Having a high level of availability to respond to incidents 24/7, 365 days a year.
  • Supporting organised events in aid of fundraising and PR events promoting the Team and safety in the hills. 

Joining the Team will cost you time and money, and you and your family will suffer inconvenience when you get called out.

Our commitment to you

The Team will ensure you are provided with the training to develop the core ‘search and rescue’ knowledge and skills required of all operational members. Throughout your time with the Team, we provide regular opportunities to train in:

  • Search.
  • Technical rope rescue.
  • First aid and pre-hospital medical care training.
  • Swift water rescue.

Most of the training is delivered in-house with some externally delivered and accredited training.

Unfortunately, the Team is not able to take just anyone and turn them into a mountain rescuer, there simply isn’t the time for this. We expect you to be proficient in the hills and do not provide training in navigation and hillcraft. 

We also provide all operational members with specialist personal protective clothing and equipment.

Recruitment, Selection and Training Process

We normally recruit once a year and usually advertise the opportunity to join the team on our social media channels. If you are interested in joining the team please contact us for an information pack and application form.

The recruitment and selection process involves:

  • Completing an application form.
  • Attending an interview if shortlisted.
  • Undertaking a hill skills assessment day if successful at the interview stage.

If you demonstrate the attributes and skills required, you will be invited to join the Team as a trainee member. The training required to achieve full operational member status will take 12 to 18 months. Once you are proficient in the core skills and subject to approval by the Operational Leadership and Trustees, you will become an operational member available to attend incidents.


If you feel you are not up to an operational role and being out on the hills at all hours, we have a Support Team that provides invaluable support in raising awareness and funds for the team.

Members of the Support Team also provide administrative support to the trustees and can help out with training for the operational members and our search dogs by acting as ‘bodies’. Support Team members also attend public events, such as county shows, to raise the profile of the team and the work we do.

If you feel passionate about the work that we do and feel you have time to volunteer we would love to hear from you, please email our Support Team coordinator at for more information on how to become a Support Team member.