In order to ensure a sufficient number of operational volunteers are available to respond to emergencies, the team recruits new members to fill vacancies in the operational roster. Recruitment typically takes place in January but a second intake may, if necessary, be conducted later in the year. New recruits are referred to as aspirant members during their training period and are subject to a number of restrictions. A new recruit can expect to remain an aspirant member of the team for a period of approximately 12 months before becoming a full team member. 

Mountain rescue teams typically refer to themselves as “recruiting from the hill rather than the street” and GMRT is no exception. Those hoping to become operational members of the team are expected to be experienced mountaineers, hillwalkers or climbers with sufficient experience to be able to operate in the mountains in all conditions.

Prospective aspirant members are expected to:

  • Be physically fit and free from any medical condition that might compromise a mountain rescue operation.
  • Be a team player who enjoys being in the mountains in all seasons and weather conditions.
  • Be available to respond to callouts 365 days a year.
  • Be able to navigate in the mountains during the day, at night and in poor visibility. 
  • Be comfortable on steep ground both day and night.
  • Be prepared to participate in operations to treat and evacuate seriously injured casualties. 
  • Own a pair of hiking boots and suitable clothing and equipment for conditions in the west of Ireland. A list of required kit will be provided. 

Knowledge of the mountains in our operational area is not absolutely necessary but is a distinct advantage. 

Each aspirant is expected attend introductory training sessions covering a number of subjects:

  • Navigation and hill craft. 
  • Stretcher handling. 
  • Rope rescue. 
  • Casualty care and First aid. 
  • Base operation control. 
  • Effective searching skills. 

Once all of the introductory sessions have been completed, aspirant members progress to attend regular training sessions with full team members. From this point onwards aspirants are also eligible to attend standby events to observe the team operating in non-emergency situations. The annual Reek Sunday pilgrimage on Croagh Patrick is a major milestone in the aspirant calendar and it provides an opportunity to actively participate in a busy, multi-agency operation treating and evacuating ill and injured pilgrims.

Aspirants performance is assessed throughout the training program and during standbys and the Reek Sunday operation. Based on the observations of senior team members aspirants will be assessed for full team membership which is granted by a majority vote of the association committee. In addition each aspirant member must complete the Mountain Skills Assessment and a REC 3 First Aid course before being approved for full membership. 

If you are interested in joining please email: and we’ll be in touch in advance of the next intake.