Introduction

Mendip Cave Rescue covers underground rescues in all areas of Somerset, Dorset and most of Wiltshire, including the stone mines of Wiltshire and the caves of Portland. Membership is now open to all cavers active in MCR's area of cover. If you're a skilled and competent caver, a good team player and active in our area of cover, why not apply? For underground roles we'd expect you to be fit enough to tackle a variety of caves, but there's plenty to do on the surface too.

Alongside our Officers, we have a new 'core member' category of membership. Core members, following a 12-24 month provisional period, have full voting rights and can stand for Officer positions if they wish to. All members have training requirements but, unlike Officers, core members are under no obligation to attend meetings.

Note that, due in part to insurance changes within Mountain Rescue England and Wales:

  • We can no longer co-opt untrained cavers into significant roles on a rescue. Our extended 'Cavers List' is therefore being withdrawn. Cavers on this list are encouraged to apply for Core or Associate Membership.
  • We can no longer run training exercises involving non-members. By opening up our membership to all cavers in the area, it is hoped this will no longer be necessary. Additionally, we are exploring the idea of surface-based 'open days', where those with an interest in rescue can come along for a try out.

Mendip Cave Rescue Group System

Mendip Cave Rescue has developed a system of “Operational Groups”, where specialist skills can be developed and training given. New members will be invited to join one (or more) of these groups, based on operational need and the preference of the member. The operational groups are:

  1. Operations Group. Responsible for the overall implementation of the rescue effort underground. Training will include general rescue exercises including passage negotiation skills, passage stability / modification, air quality, stuck caver, and water diversion.
  2. Command & Control Group. A largely surface-based Group, responsible for the coordination of rescue operations and liaising with other emergency services present at the scene. This group will ensure that a command structure is in place during rescues, establishing communications where necessary.
  3. Medical Group. Open to suitably qualified healthcare professionals or cavers wanting to undergo specialist “MREW Casualty Care” training. Training is delivered by a doctor and paramedic, and upon successful completion of the course you will be able to provide treatment for a wide range of conditions.
  4. Rigging Group. Responsible for developing MCR's rigging expertise, establishing standards, and sharing knowledge with other members of MCR.
  5. Diving Group, open to CDG divers. Divers will also be expected to join one of the four principal groups. This is to ensure that divers can operate independently as a cohesive unit beyond a sump, and promotes better integration of divers into the team.
  6. Stone Mines Group, open to members with expert knowledge of Wiltshire stone mines. Members joining this group will also be expected to join one of the four principal groups.

Commitments for Core Members

The only commitments for core members are: 

  • The training requirements of their Group(s) - this will be around 4 sessions per year, ordinarily held on weekday evenings. 
  • Two general 'Group-wide' rescue practices organised per year. These will generally be held on weekends. 

As a core member you'll have no obligation to attend any team meetings, although you will have full voting rights if you do. 

Application Process

Anyone wishing to join MCR as a Core Member must meet the person specification (listed in the application form), and be “sponsored” by a Full Member of MCR. Members are expected to meet MCR’s training requirements and adhere to a code of conduct. Members must also be self-sufficient underground and have their own suitable personal caving equipment including lights, SRT kit etc. If you want to apply for core membership of MCR, then the process to follow is:

  1. Submit a Core Member Application form (click here for PDF version or click here for Word version) and ask your sponsoring MCR team member to complete the Sponsors form (click here for PDF version or click here for Word version). Don't worry, if you don't know anyone in MCR then please contact our This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that alternate arrangements can be made.
  2. All applications will be discussed at one of our general meetings, held quarterly. Decisions to recruit will be based on your application form & operational need.
  3. Successful applicants will spend a minimum of 12 months (up to a maximum of 24 months) as a Provisional Member, during which time you'll undergo basic training & orientation.
  4. After this time, all being well, you will proceed to Full Membership as a Core Member.

If you feel that you have skills that would be useful to MCR but cannot commit to the training requirements of Core Membership, or wish to take on a supporting role, then you may be eligible for our Associate Membership category. Associate membership is also open to individuals who wish to offer a supporting role, or help out in some way, but do not wish to take on any operational responsibilities. Associate members do not have voting rights within MCR, and can only attend training sessions and meetings at the discretion of the Officers. If you want to apply for associate membership of MCR, then the process to follow is:

  1. Submit an Associate Application form (click here for PDF version or click here for Word version) and ask your sponsoring MCR team member to complete the Sponsors form (click here for PDF version or click here for Word version). Don't worry, if you don't know anyone in MCR then please contact our This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that alternate arrangements can be made.
  2. All applications will be discussed at one of our general meetings, held quarterly. Decisions to recruit will be based on your application form & operational need.
  3. If your application is successful, we will then discuss training requirements with you. If terms are mutually agreeable, we will welcome you to the team for future callouts

Before completing the application form, please take the time to read the Code of Conduct and Data Protection Policy that are available on our website. If you have any queries, please contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..