“Professional is not a label you give yourself – it’s a description you hope others will apply to you”.
Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team recently took the opportunity to undergo a peer review of all the operational aspects of the team. Three peer reviewers were invited to the Calder Valley from Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team (South Wales), Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team (North Wales) and Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team (North Yorkshire) and spent a weekend with the team.
CVSRT is a very proud team who strive to provide the highest level of search and rescue response to the community in support of the statutory emergency services. Each member is required to train, attain and maintain a set of core skills as outlined by Mountain Rescue England & Wales. All team members are volunteers who work (or are retired) and live within our operational area. Whilst members may be volunteers, it is extremely important that the emergency response we provide is completely professional with the care of the casualty as paramount and the safety of fellow team members at the heart of everything we do.
The review was spread over three days of a weekend in April, running from Friday evening until Sunday afternoon. It is designed to be an interrogative experience, based on a set of 96 questions and subsequent coaching interactions, culminating on the third day with a simulated callout to demonstrate the team in action. The ultimate purpose of the review is to ‘hold a mirror’ up for teams to assess, evaluate and grow from constructive feedback from fellow mountain rescuers.
Tim Cain (peer reviewer from Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team) explains, “My vision is that peer review becomes the gold standard culture of continuous improvement within and between rescue teams.”
Despite the peer review, CVSRT obviously remained available for callouts to assist the emergency services.
At 04:26am on the Friday morning (prior to the review), CVSRT members received a request from West Yorkshire Police to assist with an on going search for a high-risk vulnerable person who was reported missing in the Wyke area.
15 team members plus Search dog Meg assisted the police with searching and clearing areas of interest for six hours with no conclusion. The missing person was later found safe by a member of the public, outside the search area.
On Sunday just as members were concluding the peer review, CVSRT were alerted by Yorkshire Ambulance Service to an incident involving a walker who had slipped on a moorland track at Goose Green near Wainstalls, sustaining a lower leg injury. 35 team members (plus 1 peer reviewer) responded immediately and made their way to the location whilst Sarloc Rescue was used to pinpoint the casualty's exact location.
Within 20 minutes, the team had located the casualty, provided pain relief and box splinted her leg. Once comfortable, the lady was packaged and stretchered off the moors and handed over to the ambulance crew. Whilst waiting for the ambulance to arrive on scene, Search Dog Meg with handler Pete Farnell provided additional casualty care (pet therapy), which had a notable affect to reduce the casualty’s pain score. Well done Meg!
CVSRT Chairman, David Warden concluded, “Even though the peer review weekend with two callouts was a challenging process, it was worthwhile and enjoyable, and we hope to see the benefit in the coming months and years. Whilst the weekend was rigorous, that was probably the easy bit. The next step is to receive the written feedback from the reviewers and then for the team to analyse and apply any recommendations into our procedures and, hopefully, continually improve the teams effectiveness.”
“Those we love don’t go away, they walk beside us every day, unseen, unheard but always near, still loved, still missed and very dear.”
On the 3rd May we told you about a heartwarming story of an incredible young lady - 6year old Amelia Graves, who had decided to have her lovely long hair cut off to help raise funds for two charities.
Amelia donated her hair to Little Princess Trust – a charity that creates real hair wigs for children and young adults who have sadly lost their own hair due to cancer treatment or other illnesses. Amelia was also fundraising for CVSRT, as her dad Richard was an active team member. She raised an incredible £800 from the event.
It is with heavy hearts today that we announce the heartbreaking news that Amelia’s dad Richard sadly lost his battle with cancer and passed away on Friday morning.
CVSRT member Richard Graves was in his own words: Shy, retiring, polite and happy. Likes the outdoors (loves t’Yorkshire Moors and t’dales!!) and his favourite quote was… “Life is for living and living is free”.
Richard was indeed a true gentleman - honest, genuine and a funny chap who brought warmth, compassion and a cheeky smile to any occasion or situation, be it training, fundraising, social events, or at a callout to help a member of the community. He also worked for Lloyds Bank so used his business knowledge to assist the team as Treasurer until his illness restricted his spare time.
Despite battling cancer, Richard (with the help of his children, Jack & Amelia) successfully completed his MREW Casualty Care examination in November to the delight of his family and the team.
At the request of the family, we've been asked to share "Amelia’s Charity Chop" page again for anyone wishing to support her fundraising and donate in memory of Richard.
DONATE > "Amelia's Charity Chop"
CVSRT would like to pass on our sincere condolences to Natalie, Jack, Amelia and all his family and numerous friends at this very difficult time. Richard’s caring nature and happy smile was contagious and we will always remember him with fondness.
“All Calder stations... all Calder stations, this is Calder Control…Stand by for the last call message for Calder Richard…”
“Calder Richard... Calder Richard this is Calder Control. Although you may be gone, you will never be forgotten. We ask that you look over and protect us. Our team mate, our friend, our family...
Calder Richard still on the hill. Listening, Out.”
It is with great sadness that we announce the recent passing of Search dog ‘Nell’ (a border collie handled by CVSRT Chairman David Warden).
Nell retired recently on her 13th birthday having given over 11 years of service to Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team and SARDA England. She was always a confident dog, happy to work at great distances from David and thereby searching and clearing large swathes of moorland or mountainside very efficiently.
She was a quick learner and took to search work very enthusiastically. Nell passed her search dog assessment in Snowdonia and joined CVSRT in March 2006, a few months before her second birthday. Her first assignment was to the Lake District a couple of weeks after passing her assessment and a few months later located a flood victim in the River Swale in North Yorkshire. She was instrumental in locating a despondent adult on Ilkley Moor, with David providing emergency care to the casualty.
CVSRT would like to thank 'Nell' for her many years of dedication and commitment to the team and the community. She was an adorable character and will be sorely missed.