Mountain Rescue Conference 2024

Lancaster University 6-8 September 2024

Lancaster University 6-8 September 2024

To engage, educate and entertain

Our Mountain Rescue Conference 2024 invites team members to engage with each other and with the wider search and rescue community — and our partner emergency services — across the UK and beyond.

Whatever your area of expertise, whatever your discipline, whichever region you call ‘home’, join us in September 2024 to gain a broader perspective of mountain rescue. We hope you will engage with each other to gain a wider understanding of the work we all do in this often unsung volunteer sector. Listen to the experiences of our speakers and share stories of your own. Engage, educate and entertain.

Keynote Speakers

We’re taking advantage of an impressive lecture theatre with a range of plenary sessions which we hope will provide plenty of food for thought. Saturday morning kicks off with two plenaries in Oliver Patrick and Alan Littlefield focusing on building inclusive, cohesive teams which can develop and build on the strengths of team members. On Saturday evening, we’re excited to have Sarah Furness with us for a pre-dinner talk. An ex-RAF combat helicopter pilot, Sarah knows a thing or two about being at the sharp end and staying in the moment. She’ll also be selling and signing copies of her book, with the proceeds going to the Rescue Benevolent Fund. And on Sunday morning Chris Turner will be talking about how rudeness in teams can turn deadly.

Sarah Furness

Saturday Evening’s Pre-Dinner Speaker

Ex-RAF combat helicopter pilot turned mindfulness trainer and inspirational speaker, Sarah knows what it feels like to be at the front line. She understands the importance of staying in the moment and practising to stay in the moment — because this was absolutely key to hers and her crew’s survival.

‘Performance under pressure is NOT instinctive,’ says Sarah. ‘We must ‘train hard to fight easy’. That said, ‘humans have an extraordinary ability to thrive — and even excel — under pressure when they know how.’

Oliver Patrick

Where Wellbeing Meets Performance

Oliver will bring his clinical experience as a physiologist to demonstrate how our individual biology affects our performance, including the importance of ‘recovery’.

‘What we see more often than not is a diminished ability to switch off from stress, rather than excessively stressful events. People are giving their bodies the message that they need to be switched on 24 hours a day.’ HCM Magazine

Alan Littlefield

Building Strong Trusting Teams

Through the concept of ‘coherence’, Alan will explore the science behind managing physiology to improve performance under pressure, and how to build strong trusting teams.

‘We help the great grow.’ Complete

Chris Turner

Why Civility Matters in a Complex World

Chris Turner is a consultant in emergency medicine at University Hospitals of Coventry and Warwickshire. He is interested in governance and highly-performing teams, and this has led him on a journey from being blame and process-focused to something completely different.

‘It may come as no surprise that good teams perform better and this leads to better outcomes. But how often do we consider the team culture in that? Feeling valued and respected as part of the team — do these matter?’ Civility Saves Lives

‘Performance under pressure is NOT instinctive. We must train hard to fight easy’.

Sarah Furness, Ex-RAF/Saturday evening keynote speaker

More reasons to join us in Lancaster...

Underpinning the weekend is ‘sustainability’, a topic close to all our hearts — not just in terms of the clothes we wear, the technology we use or the number of reusable bottles we have in our cupboards. This is about the sustainability of the mountain rescue service itself, in the face of an ever growing demand in some areas. So, yes, we’ll be looking at how we can support team member wellbeing and empower them as individuals to remain fit and well and, perhaps most importantly, enthusiastic — because if your people fall over, then this volunteer service falls over too.

But we’ll also be looking at creating cohesive teams and keeping our team members safe. We’ll look at technical training and ‘human factors’, the value of record keeping and statistics, and the importance of civility. We’ll be hosting a panel discussion on the topic of sustainability, featuring three of the busiest teams in England and Wales. And we’ll have a barrister on hand to talk us through a possible ‘courtroom’ scenario.

All this incorporated in four packed tracks: The Frontline; Building a Sustainable Future; Wellbeing and Human Factors; and Safety Management, Indoors and Out.

And if that’s not enough to convince you, we’re happy to chat with you offline. Start the conversation by emailing

Our 2024 Conference Partners

For 2024 we are looking for a range of partner sponsors, covering different aspects of mountain rescue activity. Watch this space for details as they are confirmed. If you are interested in finding out more about how you can become a conference partner, email for details.



Secure your conference ticket now!

Purchase your ticket online and join us for an unforgettable conference experience.

Don't miss out!