The Big Spring Clean

Sunday, 03 March 2019

Yesterday, in support of Calderdale Councils annual Big Spring Clean, CVSRT members and supporters took part in the clean-up of an illegal fly-tipping hotspot.

The site, across the River Calder from ROKT and clearly visible from Brighouse town centre, has long been a blight on the local landscape.

Technical rope and water safety skills were used to protect team members as they cleared a steep area above the river of an array of fly-tipped items ranging from settees to gnomes!

Four hours and three full wagons of cleared material later, the site was transformed back to its natural litter free state.

Find out how you can help Calderdale Council keep your neighbourhood cleaner


Published in News

On Tuesday 26th February, CVSRT members Clive Green, Wayne Ogden and Martin Woodhead were presented with Long Service Awards by West Yorkshire Police Calderdale District Commander, Chief Superintendent Whitehead.

The awards were recognition for three stalwarts of the team who are always there helping to provide stability and continuity. It’s to their credit that after decades of service they are all still active, attend callouts and continue to make a positive contribution to the team. All three are excellent ambassadors for the team and the wider Mountain Rescue family.

Chief Superintendent Whitehead said “I am truly inspired by the recipients of the awards and the team as a whole. CVSRT are exemplars of public service and consummate professionals in their approach and delivery.”

Clive Green has volunteered 50 years of service to CVSRT and is the longest serving member of the team EVER, joining not long after its formation in 1966. As ‘buildings officer’ Clive played a major role in the project to construct the Rescue Post, our team base in Mytholmroyd, which was built 25 years ago. He also fulfilled the role of ‘assistant leader’ for five years until 2018.

Wayne and Martin have both volunteered 40 years of service to CVSRT, only three other team members have reached this landmark. 

Wayne joined from the Scouts and during his time has fulfilled many and various roles including ‘assistant leader’ and ‘vehicles officer’. Martin also joined from the Scouts and during his time has stood as ‘deputy team leader’, ‘assistant leader’ and ‘treasurer’.

CVSRT would like to thank Clive, Wayne and Martin for their commitment to the team and being instrumental in its development over the decades. The experience they bring to the team is second to none.

Published in News

Plan your day/route taking into consideration a reliable weather forecast. Let someone know where you’re going and when to expect you back. Make sure you start your trip early enough in the day and be aware of what time it gets dark.

Headtorch, handheld torch and spare batteries are essential or take a second torch so you don’t have to change batteries in the dark.

Carry a map and compass and know how to use them. Don’t rely on your smartphone for navigation!
Using GPS and Apps will drain your phone batteries quickly leaving you without a phone when you really need it most.

Before you set off charge your phone (and think about carrying a portable battery charger) and also register your phone with, which enables you to contact the emergency services by SMS if required.

Have a good meal before you start and take plenty of food and water to refuel and keep hydrated.

Remember if you stop for any reason, you will get cold very quickly. Make sure you have warm, windproof and waterproof clothing (and spares) – hat and gloves are essential. Wear several thin layers rather than one thick layer so you can add or remove them to maintain a comfortable temperature. Carry a foil blanket or bivvy bag for emergencies.

If the worst happens and you require urgent medical assistance, alert the authorities immediately.
Dial 999 or 112, ask for the Police and ask for Mountain Rescue.

Published in News

CVSRT Trainees 2019-20

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

There’s no denying that Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team wouldn’t exist without volunteers and during last year we received 30 applications from members of the community wishing to join the team as operational full team members.

These aspirant candidates went through a three-stage selection process (application form, open evening and a hill skills assessment), to check their suitability to progress onto our training programme.

It is with great pleasure that we welcome Alistair, Ed (not pictured), Gareth, Isobel, Josh, Mark and Peter as our new trainees for 2019-20. We wish you every success on your mountain rescue journey.

On Tuesday (29th January) the trainees attended The Rescue Post for an introduction to the team, the different roles in a fell party, fell party kit and personal kit. CVSRT would like to thank all the applicants who expressed interest in joining the team and attended the selection process.

Please note that although our Recruitment Application Form remains open any submissions will be held on file until we decide to recruit again (date to be confirmed).

Published in News

Thanks to the generosity of the Community Foundation for Calderdale, Calder valley Search and Rescue Team have a brand new state-of-the-art Incident Control Vehicle, affectionately known as ‘Calder Mobile 4’.

In 2016, CVSRT recognised the need to replace our existing Incident Control Vehicle as it neared the end of its active service lifespan. As part of our efforts to raise the funds we expected to spend on a new vehicle, an application was made to CFFC for a grant towards the cost. To our delight and surprise we were awarded the huge sum of £60,000!

After spending some time evaluating what vehicles were available to convert to a mobile office, we decided on a four wheel drive Volkswagen Transporter. Following several design meetings with convertors, Vehicle Conversion Specialists of Bradford, it eventually went in to build last summer and was delivered to us in October 2018.

Not long after, Calder Mobile 4 was called into action on a large multi-team incident last November, where it was used to co-ordinate 11 different Mountain Rescue Teams, Police and Coastguard personnel, vehicles and helicopters in the successful search for a missing person in Haworth. The new vehicle performed admirably and the latest communication technology included in the conversion was fully utilised.

CVSRT will also use the vehicle to coordinate our Flood Response Team when they deploy to help those who are in need due to flooding. Last week CVSRT members attended the CFFC AGM with the new Calder Mobile 4 to show how the grant has helped the team, and to thank them on behalf of all of our volunteers and everyone we assist. CVSRT are now better prepared and equipped than ever for any eventuality.

Published in News

Trainee Selection 2019

Sunday, 20 January 2019

On Saturday 19th January, 12 candidates arrived at The Rescue Post for a challenging day on the hill in the hope of gaining a place on this year's CVSRT Trainee Programme.

The weather forecast was very grim with a covering of snow on higher ground and low cloud cover, poor visibility and occasional rain making conditions underfoot difficult at times, but perfect for testing the candidate’s navigation and hill skills. The day started with a personal hill kit check to make sure they were all suitably equipped for a full day on the hill. Following this was a quick ascent to Erringdon Moor, above Mytholmroyd to warm everyone up.

The candidates were split into small groups under the supervision of several team members and away they went onto the moors to demonstrate their skills. All groups met up at lunchtime and were treated to a hot brew and some well deserved pies and cakes, before swapping groups and heading onto the moors again for the afternoon. The afternoon passed and by 5pm all groups met up for a rest. By this point of the day, everyone had a sense of camaraderie developing as they got to know each other.

As night fell, the groups headed out again into darkness to assess night navigation skills. This was cut short to assist with an ‘exercise callout’ - the evacuation of an injured walker on Blake Moor. The candidates were instructed to make their way as quickly and safely as possible to the location, where several CVSRT members were waiting with the casualty and a stretcher for the candidates to carry off the hill.

Once back at The Rescue Post, the candidates washed the vehicles and repacked and checked any kit used before having a well-earned brew and more cake! A final debrief and the opportunity to reflect on how they felt their assessment went, before candidates were free to go home for a much needed hot bath and a warm up. By the end of the day, everyone had covered approximately 20km and 530m of ascent in very challenging weather conditions.

Many thanks to everyone who applied to join CVSRT this year and also attended the hill assessment. It was a tough day for some but the applicants were excellent, making the final selection very difficult. However, after much deliberation, seven people were selected from the 12 who started the assessment and will progress onto our training programme, due to start in February.

Please note: Our recruitment application form remains open but be advised that your submission will be held on file until we decide to recruit again (date to be confirmed).

Published in News


Monday, 14 January 2019

At 15:20 on Monday 14th January Calder Valley Search & Rescue Team received a request from West Yorkshire Police to assist with locating and evacuating an injured 55yr female who had sustained a suspected closed ankle fracture whilst out walking on Haworth Moor.

28 CVSRT members were available to respond immediately and deployed in team vehicles or directly to the incident.

The casualty was assessed by a team doctor and received pain relief and her ankle was box splinted. She was then placed in a winter casualty bag and evacuated by stretcher from the moorland to an ambulance waiting nearby.

In Attendance: 28 CVSRT, Yorkshire Ambulance Service, West Yorkshire Police

Total Duration: 2hrs 40mins

Additional Info

  • Date Monday, 14 January 2019
  • Location Haworth Moor
  • Grid Reference SE 99330 35830
  • Latitude 53.818747
  • Longitude -2.0116541
  • Man Hours 74.7
  • Members In Attendance 28
Published in Incidents

CVSRT are very pleased to announce that CVSRT Chairman, David Warden and his three year old border collie ‘Wynn’, have recently been successful in the Mountain Rescue Search Dogs England (MRSDE) Assessment, which confirms that they have achieved the required standard for operational duties.

You may remember that Wynn joined the team in 2015 as a 10 week old trainee. She is the third dog that David has trained as a mountain rescue search dog, in a process which has taken two and a half years.

The MRSDE Assessment was held at the weekend and required the pair to demonstrate their capability over three days in winter conditions in the Lake District mountains, searching for ‘missing’ volunteers (dogsbodies), during which they undertook five searches, successfully achieving five passes. In addition to being capable of operating in mountain and high moorland environments in all weather conditions, they are also trained in searching in lowland areas, including woodland, semi-rural and certain urban environments.

Search dog ‘Wynn’ now joins Search dogs ‘Meg’, ‘Jack’ and ‘Finn’ serving CVSRT across our operational area and mid-Pennines region…and beyond if required.

Search dogs have been a part of CVSRT since 1977 and we now have a team of 4 air-scenting search dogs and handlers with three trainee search dogs (Tinker, Orion and Tess). Over the years there have been 17 qualified search dogs and 11 handlers assisting the search team. The dogs are trained to 'Air Scent' so, as a general rule, they do not track the missing person, but react to wind borne human scent.

Why dogs?
A search dog can cover large areas of ground, including difficult terrain and woodland in the search and is very sensitive to any human scent it finds. It will immediately follow a scent to its source. It will then ‘indicate’ to its handler, usually by barking, to let them know it’s made a 'find'. It is not unusual for a dog to pick up a scent from a missing person, 500metres or more away.

As part of the training process, dogsbodies are used to hone the dog’s senses. Dogsbodies are highly valued volunteers from the community who assist in the development of the search dog. They go out on the hill and hide for the dogs to find on training and assessments courses.

If you would like to know more about the CVSRT Search Dogs or think you could volunteer to be a dogsbody to assist with training > please visit their page <

To find out more about Mountain Rescue Search Dogs England please visit: Mountain Rescue Search Dogs England

Published in News


Monday, 07 January 2019

At 15:38 on Monday 7th January, CVSRT members received a request from Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) to assist in the evacuation of an injured 9year old boy, who had fallen approximately 30 feet down a steep slope into a gully. Initial reports indicated potential head and back injuries.

Whilst the casualty was assessed by Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) paramedics, CVSRT members provided safety cover and prepared a rope system to extract the boy from the gully.

Once he was comfortable and immobilised on a stretcher, the rope system was used to haul the casualty up the steep slope and then he was carried a short distance to the air ambulance, where he was transferred for transport to Leeds General Infirmary.

We’ve since had an update on the casualty’s condition and fortunately he only suffered soft tissue damage despite the height of the fall and the rocky, uneven ground he landed on.

In attendance:
Yorkshire Ambulance Service
Yorkshire Air Ambulance

Additional Info

  • Date Monday, 07 January 2019
  • Location Frieldhurst Road, Todmorden
  • Grid Reference SD 91402 26184
  • Latitude 53.731977
  • Longitude -2.1318069
  • Man Hours 70.1
  • Members In Attendance 23
Published in Incidents


Thursday, 27 December 2018

At 01:08 on Thursday 27th December, CVSRT were alerted to an ongoing search for a vulnerable missing pensioner with dementia who was reported missing in the Allerton Bywater area at 19:00hrs on Boxing Day.

Holme Valley Mountain Rescue Team, West Yorkshire Police, West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service and WYP NPAS CarrGate were already involved with the ongoing search when extra help was requested for additional members from CVSRT and SARDA Search Dogs.

As CVSRT members arrived on-scene they were greeted with the fantastic news that the gentleman had just been found alive by members of Holme Valley MRT, and required immediate evacuation. He was promptly packaged and transferred by stretcher to an ambulance for treatment and onward journey to hospital.

Additional Info

  • Date Thursday, 27 December 2018
  • Location Allerton Bywater
  • Grid Reference SE 41750 27856
  • Latitude 53.745415
  • Longitude -1.3684275
  • Man Hours 51.6
  • Members In Attendance 10
Published in Incidents
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© 2014 Calendar photography by Hanners
© 2015 All other photography remains the property of Calder Valley Search & Rescue Team.