Cave rescue is one of the most specialised types of wilderness rescue program out there. It involves elements from confined space rescue, firefighting, mountaineering, and rope rescue, but also has some special techniques of its own which can be quite demanding and difficult to learn. Since cave accidents don’t happen too much and rescuing is a special skill, a normal emergency staff is not usually employed when it comes to these types of rescues. Instead, it is usually experienced cavers themselves who go through rigorous training with their organisations and answer the call whenever required.
These rescue missions are deliberate, slow operations which require both organised teamwork as well as proper communication. The extremes of being inside a cave dictate all the aspects of these rescues. This is why rescuers need to adapt techniques and skills which are just as dynamic as the type of environment they need to operate in.
There is an international network of rescue units organised under the UIS. Most of these units are listed along with contact details here in case of any incidents inside a cave.
The first team in the world was founded back in 1935 called the Cave Rescue Organisation. It was formed in the United Kingdom in Yorkshire. Like just about any rescue group in the world, it included volunteer cavers and was funded completely from donations.
Due to the amount of manpower that is required for any large-scale missions, it isn’t too uncommon for rescue units from different regions to help each other whenever an extensive underground operation is being carried out.
It is not something that you should ever disregard or think lowly of. If you’re out in a cave in the middle of nowhere, the only thing that will help in the end are these organisations. So always be ready.