Mourne Mountain Rescue Team appeal for public to ‘be kind’ after walkers reprimanded by social media

The Mourne Mountain rescue Team have asked the public to be ‘kind’ after unfortunate walkers were forced to call for help ater getting into difficulties.

By Gemma Murray
Sunday, 14th February 2021, 6:20 pm

In a post today (Sunday) a member of the team said: “Be Kind!

“We report our calls on Facebook to raise awareness of what we do, to educate and to help sustain our fundraising efforts.

“There is considerable public interest in mountain rescue, particularly from the outdoors community and many people are passionate about the mountains, about safety and about our team!

Mourne Mountain Rescue team

“We understand that there will always be a range of opinion and debate is an integral part of social media.

“However, at the heart of every rescue we engage in is at least one human being who has, more often than not, already had a very testing experience by the time they encounter us.

“We often pass on advice to the people we rescue but kindness and respect are cornerstones of what we do.

“Negative criticism that may deter people from seeking help early and make a bad situation much worse will not make our work any easier, and could increase risk to people in the mountains.

“We are therfore appealing to people to think carefully before commenting on our posts.

“Remember that we are all human, we all have moments of vulnerability and we all make mistakes.

“When any of us do need support and guidance, personalised criticism and abusive or offensive language does not help.

“As volunteers we willingly put in thousands of hours every year and we know that our Facebook followers recognise that commitment.

“Having to spend additional hours, often after a challenging rescue, moderating Facebook comments is no help to us or to the people we support.

“We are reviewing the settings on our page to help manage this better but like so many things in life, the key to making it easier and more positive is in how we choose to interact.

“So please, be kind, reflect on what you choose to say and how you say it and remember the humans behind the posts, the rescued and the rescuers!

“There will be a range of opinion on this very subject, much of which has already been aired and on this occasion, we politely ask you to reflect rather than react.

“#BeKind”

One comment said: “What sort of people head up a mountain in weather like this. Not only do they put themselves in danger but the MMRT who voluntarily go up those mountains in all conditions to rescue them.

Well done yet again.”