Specialist training for the Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team is a weekly requirement to maintain the essential skills needed to operate safely as an effective emergency response service. Whilst we are all volunteers, team members are highly trained to guidelines set by Mountain Rescue England & Wales (MREW). At the heart of these guidelines is a set of 10 core skills, which ensures a high level of capability, but also a respect for personal and team safety as well as the care for the casualty. Skills include; search and rescue planning and management, specialist medical treatment, technical steep ground and crag rescue, night and adverse weather search and rescue, body recovery, swiftwater and flood rescue, and stretcher evacuation.
Annually we organise a ‘Core Skills Training Day’ for team members to refresh and practice these skills. Each year we choose a different location within our operational area to experience different terrains and potential hazards from certain locations. This year’s training was held on Saturday 11th March at St Ives Estate, Bingley, with previous training days held at Green Withens Reservoir, Ilkley Moor, Hardcastle Crags and the Castle Carr Estate.
Midway through the morning training session, Yorkshire Ambulance Service alerted the team to a real incident in Hebden Bridge that required our urgent assistance. Within minutes of the call, 27 members were sent to locate an injured female with a suspected ankle fracture and to assist with her evacuation. Thanks to an accurate location and guidance from friends of the lady, she was quickly located in Crow Nest Wood and team doctors promptly administered pain relief before relocating her dislocated ankle. Once comfortable, she was packaged and stretchered to the road and handed over to the ambulance crew.
Amy Brandreth was the lady who found herself in this unfortunate situation and recently contacted us to say thanks for assisting with her rescue. “I was out walking with a group of friends heading from Hebden Bridge to Stoodley Pike as part of our training to undertake the Yorkshire 3 Peaks. We had only been gone about half a mile when I slipped on a stone and the crack from my ankle echoed around the valley! I knew straight away what type of injury I had. We phoned the emergency services and I was able to use the map to give a 6-figure grid reference of our location, we also sent two of our group to meet the emergency services at the bottom of the footpath. From our vantage point on the footpath overlooking the valley, I was able to see the CVSRT and ambulance arriving - I wasn’t expecting 27 of the rescue team though! The team were great and I am extremely grateful for their care and compassion on the day, and look forward to meeting them in less unfortunate circumstances!”
By 13:30, team members had returned to St Ives Estate, Bingley to complete their Core Skills Training with the assistance of representatives from West Yorkshire Police, Yorkshire Ambulance Service and with special guest MP Holly Lynch plus a visit from Pam Laking, Chairlady of the Friends of St Ives. During the afternoon session, team members worked through skill stations and then were tasked with two simultaneous search and rescue scenarios, aimed at testing their newly refreshed core skills.
CVSRT would like to thank the Queensbury Village Walking Group and all our friends and families for volunteering as training casualties during the day. Special thanks go to our Active Supporters Group who consistently support the team and thanks to Bob Smith (Grough Magazine), who was on-hand to capture some photos of the incident and the whole training day and finally to Amy, we wish you a speedy recovery. [View Incident 1003]