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This council was established at a meeting held at Settle on 24.6.67, under the chairmanship of Mr. John Plowes, at which representatives were present from the C.R.O., M.R.O., Gloucester C.R.G., South Wales C.R., Durham C.R.O., Derbyshire C.R.O., together with Mr. Norman Thornber.  Not present, but supporting the principles were the Upper Wharfedale F.R.A. and the North Wales C.R.

The Council is to be the representative body for cave Rescue Organisations for the purpose of: -

a.                  Obtaining national recognition for cave rescuers.

b.                  Allocating coverage for areas as yet without effective means of performing cave rescues.

c.                  Helping to establish rescue facilities in those areas needing help.

d.                  Providing the liaison desirable to supply additional strength to areas, or even countries, in the event of major incidents and where the areas or countries concerned request it.


a.                  The Council shall never become a rescue Organisation in itself.

b.                  It shall have no powers to interfere in the affairs of its constituent members.

c.                  It shall only act unanimously.

d.                  Its members shall only be appointed by the organisations they represent. 

No co-option is permissible but any relevant adviser may be invited to assist.

The Hon. Sec. was requested to contact the Irish C.R.O.  Also to make representations to the Home Secretary for the purposes of furthering the objectives.

The second meeting of the cave Rescue Council was held in Bristol on 30.9.67.  Dr. Oliver Lloyd was elected to the chair.  Eight C.R.O.’s were represented, together with Supt. Glenning of the West Riding Constabulary.

The Hon. Sec. (John Plowes) reported that the Home Secretary had referred him to Mr. J.A. Willison, the Hon. Se. of the Association of Chief Police Officers of England and Wales, whom he visited on 9.9.67.  The discussions resulted in the following procedure:


1.                  The Cave Rescue Council to confirm base central base or central points of Police contact for each Area Rescue Organisation in its membership.

2.                  Agree allocated coverage of less frequented areas.

3.                  Establish an inter-area call out system for additional help if requested by the “Local” area concerned.  This would be via the “Central Police Points”.


The Association of Chief Police Officers to deal with the conveying of the information throughout the Police Service with the authority for its inclusion in the “Emergency Instructions” for the guidance of all Police personnel.

Mr. Plowes had summarized the two main concerns of the Cave Rescue Council as:

1.                  Risk that cave rescue services might not be requested by Police in areas which knew nothing about them.

2.                  Financial stringency.

Discussion of this report resulted in the following recommendations being made by the Council:

1.                  That the information to chief constables should remind them of their authority to reimburse “out of pocket expenses” of the people called to assist them.

2.                  The Hon. Sec. should ascertain the Scottish system of cave Rescue operation.

3.                  Overlapping areas should consult and devise the coverage required.  It was estimated that out of the 45 Police Districts would be concerned.

4.                  Co-operate with International Commission.

It was agreed that the Irish C.R.O. was a full member of the council, but of course it was necessary for them to make their own arrangements with their police.