Code of Conduct


The Mountain Rescue Association (MRA) and Allegheny Mountain Rescue Group (AMRG) is dedicated to providing a positive, harassment-free conference experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age or religion. We do not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form. Conference participants include attendees, speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, volunteers and staff.

Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any conference venue, including talks. Harassment includes offensive verbal comments, sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, unwanted photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.

Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately. If a participant engages in harassing behaviour, event organizers retain the right to take any actions to maintain a welcoming environment for all participants. This includes warning the offender or expulsion from the conference with no refund. Event organizers may take action to redress anything designed to, or with the clear impact of, disrupting the event or making the environment hostile for any participants.

We expect participants to follow these rules at all event venues and event-related social activities.

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please report it immediately. You can report it to a member of AMRG, a volunteer or to the conference contacts listed below. AMRG committee and volunteers can be identified by their name badges.

Our team will be happy to help you contact venue security, local law enforcement, local support services, provide escorts, or otherwise assist you to feel safe for the duration of the event. We value your attendance. We expect participants to follow these rules at all conference venues and conference-related social events. If you find this policy restrictive, please do not attend or speak at the conference.


The Mountain Rescue Association (MRA) and/or the Allegheny Mountain Rescue Group (AMRG) established that personal dogs are not allowed at the MRA Spring 2020 Conference. This decision was based on concern for the safety and comfort of our canine friends and on our conference format.

Service dogs or Search and Rescue (SAR) training dogs are an exception to this policy. If you intend to bring a service dog or SAR dog to the conference, you will be asked to review the following information and indicate acceptance of our policies.

Service dogs are covered by Federal Law under the ADA. The behavior of a service dog or SAR dog is the responsibility of the dog's handler at all times and handlers must always be cognizant of their dog's interactions with people and other animals. Service dogs and SAR dogs are expected to be on leash, well-behaved and under the handler's control, or if the handler is unable to control the dog for a time, under the control of a designated adult individual. If the handler's disability precludes the use of a leash, harness or other type of tether, the dog must be under the handler's control using voice cues, hand signals or another means of communication.

Please be aware that if your service dog or SAR dog is observed demonstrating aggressive behavior toward a dog or person, you may be asked to remove the dog by AMRG and/or facility and it may not be allowed at the conference. The facility may be obligated to ask you to remove the dog to protect the safety of both people and animals. Aggressive behavior is defined as a constellation of behaviors including:

  • Hard stares
  • Hackles up
  • Pursed lips
  • Growling
  • Lunging
  • Biting

Behaviors that may also lead to being asked to remove the dog are behaviors that may disrupt the facility's ability to conduct business, such as uncontrolled barking, lunging and jumping on people, and bolting from the handler without the ability to be recalled.

Service dogs or SAR dogs must be house trained and handlers are responsible for cleaning up after the animal at all times.

Our policy allowing service dogs and SAR dogs does not cover emotional support, comfort animals and therapy dogs, which are not defined as service animals under Title II and Title III of the ADA. It also does not cover service dogs-in-training when the state laws of the conference location do not allow for service dogs-in-training to have the same public access as service dogs. Please review the state laws for this year's location to determine if you are eligible to bring a service dog-in-training.