You can gain relevant experience via voluntary search and rescue teams such as Mountain Rescue England and Wales or British Cave Rescue Council. Mountain Rescue England and Wales hold recruitment days during the year, which involve going out with team members who assess your suitability for training.
You'll be expected to have experience in hill walking, reading maps and using a compass. You'll also need knowledge of the rescue team's operational area. Other skills like climbing and first aid will be useful, though not essential.
If you're selected, you'll be given training over a 12-month probationary period. It will include:
- search and rescue skills
- first aid
- casualty and stretcher handling
- survival techniques
- navigation, GPS and radio communications
- working with helicopter teams
After 12 months, your colleagues will decide whether you're ready to join them as a full team member.