Apologies.. it wasn't my intention to get on a soap box Dave, just sayin what can happen. Summat good came out my experience anyway In that I joined the team.
As for boots vs trail shoes.. I hate big clumpy boots that I HAVE to wear for MRT because I'm either barefoot or in minimalist footwear.. Can't feel the ground. But there's a new breed of boot emerging which is like a trail running shoe in a mid-cut boot. They would be my choice for a mountain event.
I volunteer with MRT because of an event which nearly involved calling them out in the Lakes. (BTW In our team you ring the police and ask for mountain rescue).
This happened to me.. At the mountain base in hot sunshine we were putting sun cream on. 2 hours later an ice storm came. Thunder & forked lightening. Horizontal ice hail. 0 visibility. Had waterproofs but hail went through it. The track we were on was then calf-deep with running water. Ankle-deep water is enough to knock someone over if its fast flowing. A cubic metre of water weighs a tonne.
We had rucksacks with dry clothing, map, first aid kit, food & drink so not exactly unprepared. But no group shelter! Exposed to elements on mountain ridge. Then one of the dogs disappeared after some sheep down a ravine. 300m steep climb down to rescue it. Off track, wet cold and fatigued. Had our food & drink and managed to navigate to next ridge where we could make out some features that were on the map.
Might not seem a big deal to some, but our day walk went from being pleasantly challengjng to a survival episode in a short space of time. We are used to hill walking and off road running so not unfit or ill-prepared. That's what some people arent aware of.. You think it cannot happen to you! Even mild hypothermia alters perception & navigation, and can occur in 20 minutes. Worse if someone has an injury.
So, its not just your numpty unprepared people in flip flops who we go out to! Fell runners.. a lower limb fracture and just wearing minimal clothing, again hypothermic risk. Areas where mobiles don't have signals, so that fancy map app won't work. GPS / technology failures.
Families out for a walk and the husband too macho to ask for directions, because the only 'map' they have is a 3" one not to scale in a guide book. Despondants.. Confused eldery who have wandered off. People who choose a beauty spot to take tablets and a bottle of whiskey to end their lives, or hang themselves from a tree Etc.
You never know when you or someone you care about might need the help of MRT. And we do it all for free...