Having learnt from our experiences over recent years during the floods, we quickly realised the need to adopt closer working relationships with all the emergency services, partner organisations and the Environmental Agency. Floods by nature are often wide spread, devastating and generally will require immediate hands-on and intervention from many trained personnel to provide an effective response. As a direct result of Boxing Day floods, CVSRT received donations from various organisations, businesses, community groups and the public. These funds were specifically to buy specialist water rescue equipment and to train team members with new water rescue skills and knowledge.

We are great believers that the best source for knowledge is from experience, and knowledge shared is knowledge multiplied. This is why our specially trained water rescue members cascade their skills within the team, and also proactively share their knowledge externally with community groups, partner organisations, emergency services and other agencies to strengthening working relationships.

When the call comes to respond, the emergency services will of course be involved in great strength responding to calls for assistance and providing first response capability to protect life and property. As water levels rise and roads succumb to surface water, streams and rivers breach, bringing a threat to homes and businesses, the police, fire and ambulance services will all be evident with CVSRT supporting them as required.

Highways and local authority emergency coordination staff will be clearing gullies of debris, delivering sandbags and establishing local evacuation centres. CCTV operators and community wardens will provide vital live links with real-time assessment of the developing situation whilst Environment Agency staff and volunteer flood wardens will be patrolling their areas, providing critical ‘on the ground’ intelligence, practical support and reassurance to the communities. These are to name but a few as experience has shown that other service providers including many from the voluntary sector will also play a massive part at all stages of such events. When such major incidents occur, CVSRT may only play a small part in the operation, but we are determined to provide the most effective service and coordinated support possible to all the agencies and the communities we serve.

On Friday 20th October, water rescue teams from CVSRT and WYFRS (Todmorden station), attended a joint flood training exercise with Calderdale Council, flood wardens and the Environmental Agency. As part of this exercise, both water rescue teams worked together to extract a casualty from a stricken barge. This annual multi-agency flood exercise was to test the effectiveness of resources. However, little did we know our services would be called upon so soon! The following night, flood sirens were sounded in the Upper Valley for real.

Both WYFRS and CVSRT were deployed to Todmorden to provide a water safety response as reports of rising water levels were coming in and roads became impassable with surface water. Thankfully for most, the flooding was minimal on this occasion, although not all residents escaped without some damage.

CVSRT members also met local flood wardens during the deployment - some of who are now familiar faces from attending our training courses. Over recent months CVSRT First Aid professionals have been delivering Emergency First Aid courses to the local flood wardens and we are pleased to announce that seven flood wardens successfully obtained their first aid qualification on November 1st. The course focussed on life saving techniques including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and how to use a defibrillator.

As volunteers ourselves we acknowledge the incredible efforts and commitment everyone contributes at such challenging times and we understand that ‘we’re all in it together’.

Seven flood wardens successfully complete their first aid training

Published in News

The nights are now drawing in and the shorter days are with us for the next few months, and not forgetting the clocks going back on Sunday 29th October. But that doesn’t mean that the countryside is out of bounds, it just means you need to be properly prepared. Here are a few key safety considerations before venturing out onto the hills and moors.

Firstly, be aware of the time. Make sure you start your journey early enough to complete the route in daylight, and be aware what time it gets dark, allowing plenty time to get home safely, even if the weather changes for the worst. Plan your day and route carefully and let someone know where you are going and how long you expect to be out.

Have a map and compass with you…and have the ability to use them! Navigation is much harder at night and darkness changes everything. Route finding becomes more difficult, not forgetting to mention being able to see where you are placing your feet or the direction you are travelling.

Of course everyone has an emergency torch in your rucksack… you do, don’t you?! Carry a good quality torch and or a head torch with spare batteries should you get delayed and night falls. Some people prefer to carry an additional torch to avoid having to change batteries in the cold or darkness. Adequate lighting is critical when the nights draw in. Trying to map read or making your way over rough ground from a little light on a mobile phone is a nightmare that you really don’t want to experience. This will also use up what could be vital mobile phone battery life.

Remember most accidents happen towards the end of the day when you are feeling tired and your energy levels are low, quite like your mobile phone battery that you’ve been using all day to find your location on a GPS app or uploading pictures to social media! Before you venture out, register your mobile phone with the Emergency SMS service. It’s really easy to do and could save your life. Visit the website and follow the instructions: www.emergencysms.org.uk

Ensure you wear suitable clothing for the time of year and sturdy footwear with good tread. Carry a rucksack or backpack that contains food, drink, waterproofs, hat and gloves, extra layers to keep you warm and dry if the worst happens, and an emergency foil blanket or bivvy bag to protect you from the elements in case of emergency. Ask yourself, if you or someone with you has to stop for an extended period of time, will the kit you have with you be enough to protect you from the elements?

For those who like to move fast in the hills, like fell runners and mountain bikers, there’s always a temptation to travel light and leave spare kit at home. Please consider though what to do if you twist an ankle, break a chain or simply can’t walk off the moors easily to a road to ring for help. Having to sit on top of a windblown moor for a few hours in a t-shirt and shorts will be an adventure you’ll only want to experience once.

Winter is not a time to avoid the hills. If anything it’s a time to revel in them. Fewer people means quieter days out. Those perfect crisp morning runs, or late evening rides. Catching sunset and sunrise on the same day, it can be one of the best times of the year if you’re prepared and willing to get out there to enjoy it.

Remember in the event of an emergency, dial 999 or 112 and ask for Police, then Mountain Rescue. 

Photo by Hanners Photography

Published in News

Roland Arnison (Roly) and his 14 years old son James Elles from Thornton, Bradford, have set their goals high with a mountain of a challenge as they attempt the complete the National Three Peaks Challenge to help raise funds for Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team (CVSRT).

For those unfamiliar with the challenge, it involves climbing the three highest peaks, which are Ben Nevis (1345m) in Scotland, Scafell Pike (978m) in the Lake District and Snowdon (1085m) in Wales, all within 24 hours. To help them accomplish their challenge, they have enlisted Richard Quinn who will drive the pair between the three locations. Both Roly and Richard are also team members with CVSRT. The challenge for Roly and James is to complete the estimated 13-14hours of hill climbing with very little sleep. The challenge for Richard is to drive the pair promptly but safely between the mountains.

James said, “I have climbed about 11 mountains but I've never done anything like the National Three Peaks Challenge before. I’m really excited about climbing the biggest mountains as fast as possible.”

Roly added, “I have quite a lot of mountaineering experience and being a mountain rescue volunteer with Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team keeps me busy and hill fit so I’m not too concerned about the physical climbs, I’m more concerned about whether I can keep up with James who is considerably younger and more agile than I – but I’ll give it my best shot!”

“We are raising money for CVSRT because I know first hand how vital fundraising is to the team. It costs approximately £35,000 per year just to keep the team operational, which is raised entirely though fundraising and donations from the community and local businesses. Our initial target for this challenge is £500 but we would love to smash that target! – We’ve managed to raise nearly £200 already which is a great start.” Roly concluded.

Roly & James’s National Three Peaks Challenge will involve a total of 24 miles of mountain climbing and more than 3000metres of ascent as well as 460 miles of driving, all within 24 hours and will take place on 26th-27th October.

Please visit their fundraising page to show your support and to donate: Roly & James' National Three Peaks Challenge

Find out more info about: National Three Peaks Challenge

Published in News

1044

Sunday, 08 October 2017

At 13:40, CVSRT received a request from Yorkshire Ambulance Service to assist with the evacuation of a gentleman who had sustained a broken ankle whilst out walking.

Once on-scene team members assisted with a short stretcher carry up to the road and handed the casualty over to the ambulance crew.

In attendance: 18 CVSRT
Total Duration: 1hrs 55mins

Additional Info

  • Date Sunday, 08 October 2017
  • Location Widdop Reservoir
  • Grid Reference SD 92128 33488
  • Latitude 53.797635
  • Longitude -2.1209836
  • Man Hours 37.3
  • Members In Attendance 18
Published in Incidents

1043

Thursday, 05 October 2017

At midnight, CVSRT received a request from Yorkshire Ambulance Service to assist with the evacuation of a male from his vehicle that had left the road and gone down the embankment.

Team stood down en-route. Enough emergency services on-scene to deal.

In attendance: 22 CVSRT
Total Duration: 1hrs

Additional Info

  • Date Thursday, 05 October 2017
  • Location A672, Rishworth
  • Grid Reference SE0020115738
  • Latitude 53.638163
  • Longitude -1.9984388
  • Man Hours 22
  • Members In Attendance 22
Published in Incidents

1042

Friday, 22 September 2017

At 12:30, CVSRT received a request from West Yorkshire Police to assist with the search for 74yo Cathryn Holdsworth who was reported missing from her home in Halifax.

Team members were tasked with searching various areas of interest by the police, but without conclusion.

Cathryn is still missing: MISSING PERSONS APPEAL

West Yorkshire Police: WATCH Appeal Cathryn Holdsworth, 74yr
Anyone with any information relating to Cathryn’s whereabouts should contact the police.

In attendance: 16 CVSRT
West Yorkshire Police

Total Duration: 7hrs 30mins

Additional Info

  • Date Friday, 22 September 2017
  • Location Heathy Lane, Halifax
  • Grid Reference SE 07260 28433
  • Latitude 53.752215
  • Longitude -1.8913795
  • Man Hours 120
  • Members In Attendance 16
Published in Incidents

1040

Sunday, 10 September 2017

At 11:04, CVSRT received a request from West Yorkshire Police to assist with the recovery of a deceased male on the Milennium Way, above Ilkley.

In attendance: 16 CVSRT
West Yorkshire Police

Total Duration: 5hrs 41mins

Additional Info

  • Date Sunday, 10 September 2017
  • Location Millennium Way, Burley in Wharfedale
  • Grid Reference SE 13669 44780
  • Latitude 53.899013
  • Longitude -1.7934591
  • Man Hours 90.9
  • Members In Attendance 16
Published in Incidents

1039

Sunday, 03 September 2017

At 08:12, CVSRT received a request from Yorkshire Ambulance Service to assist with evacuating a male who had fallen down a banking, sustaining injuries.
Team stood down.  Enough resources on-scene to deal. No involvement from CVSRT required.

In attendance: 23 CVSRT
Yorkshire Ambulance Service
YAS HART
YAS DCA
West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service
West Yorkshire Police

Total Duration: 33mins

Additional Info

  • Date Sunday, 03 September 2017
  • Location Chapel Lane, Sowerby Bridge
  • Grid Reference SE 06591 23793
  • Latitude 53.710520
  • Longitude -1.9016218
  • Man Hours 12.1
  • Members In Attendance 23
Published in Incidents

1038

Saturday, 02 September 2017

At 13:25, CVSRT received a request from Yorkshire Ambulance Service to assist with a casualty suffering breathing difficulties at a farm with limited vehicle access.

CM2 was already out covering an event at Robinwood Activity Centre so despatched directly to the scene to offer assistance. Yorkshire Air Ambulance were also on scene.

In attendance: 8 CVSRT
Yorkshire Ambulance Service
Yorkshire Air Ambulance

Total Duration: 3hrs 35mins

Additional Info

  • Date Saturday, 02 September 2017
  • Location Sykes Gate Farm, Cragg Vale
  • Grid Reference SE 00434 21453
  • Latitude 53.689528
  • Longitude -1.9948983
  • Man Hours 28.7
  • Members In Attendance 8
Published in Incidents

1037

Monday, 28 August 2017

At 06:46, CVSRT received a request from West Yorkshire Police to assist with the search for a missing person in Wainstalls area of Calderdale. Whilst CVSRT Leaders were making their way to Halifax, the missing person was located by the police, and the team were subsequently stood down.

In attendance: 7 CVSRT
West Yorkshire Police

Total Duration: 42mins

Additional Info

  • Date Monday, 28 August 2017
  • Location Wainstalls, Halifax
  • Grid Reference SE 04684 28400
  • Latitude 53.751946
  • Longitude -1.9304395
  • Man Hours 4.9
  • Members In Attendance 7
Published in Incidents
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© 2014 Calendar photography by Hanners www.hanrahanphotography.co.uk
© 2015 All other photography remains the property of Calder Valley Search & Rescue Team.