Long Service Awards

20 Jun 2014

Pictured: Team Leader Les Wilson presents Mick and Hilary Newsome with their 25 Years' Long Service Awards.

As some of you may know, CVSRT have been saving lives in wild and remote places since 1966…and whilst Mick & Hilary Newsome haven’t been team members for so long, it still seems fitting to mark their 25 years’ service with an award.

Husband and wife team, Mick and Hilary received the 25 years Long Service Award at a recent team business meeting. When asked how things had changed over the years, they reflected with fondness how they got involved with CVSRT and how things have changed.

Hilary said, “Firstly, that was unexpected - we are both very proud and thrilled to be awarded with this long service certificate. Twenty – five years! Where have they gone?”

“We first became involved with the team one Sunday at the Stubbing Wharf, Hebden Bridge where we bumped into an old friend, Pete Smith - whom Mick had known for forty or so years. I (Hilary) had just completed the Mountain Leadership course and as the chat developed, Pete suggested we should join the Rescue Team. This sounded interesting so we thought we’d give it a go and become “Probies”

“The probationary training was not as structured as it is now, but none the less rigorous. Team member Clive Green was our instructor and trained us 2 Tuesdays per month where we “buddied up” with a full team member and a monthly all-day Sunday hill craft exercise, where we honed our new skills”

“Callouts were few and far between and generally the phone call came by the Cascade System. The Team Leader would receive the call for assistance from the Police, who would then pass it on to assistant leaders, who would then phone 2 or 3 others, who would then phone 2 or 3 others and so on. Clumsy but not as slow as it sounds”

“Eventually after completing our training and ‘Probie’ assessments, we were voted onto the team at the monthly business meeting. Everyone clapped and welcomed us as full team members and we were presented with…the key to the rescue post, that was all! No goody bag with a fancy Mountain Rescue jacket or trousers etc. just a key – and we even had to share that! Things have changed these days with new members receiving a selection of Mountain Rescue England and Wales items. Back then we had to buy all our own gear!”

“In those early days, the team was quiet but some callouts did stand out… like the “downed” cow which had to be winched away by helicopter in a large net. Basically, it had fallen over down a ditch and couldn’t recover so we managed to get it onto a field gate and carried it away from a small reservoir and nearer the net for airlifting. Another callout that stood out was when we found our first live casualty – some things you never forget!!”

“The Team vehicle 25 years ago was an ex-Police van with ‘modifications’. Mick & I remember vividly a callout, with sirens blaring and blue lights flashing, belting down the M62 in our magnificent blue tranny van to save the day…only to be overtaken by all and sundry as we sped flat out at 40 mph! How very embarrassing!!”

Other proud moments are being awarded the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee medals and when our son became a full team member. Nathan had been brought up in and around the team socials and fundraising events from the age of six, so it was lovely for us to see him decide to join the team also”

“Things have changed tremendously now - with 4 rapid response vehicles located in 3 strategic locations throughout our operational area with over 50 highly trained, voluntary full team members ready to deploy at a moment’s notice… Calder Valley Search & Rescue Team is a professional, well equipped life-saving emergency response service that is well respected by fellow Mountain Rescue members, the statutory Emergency Services and our local community”

“Over the years, we have worked alongside many team members. Then, as now, it has been the camaraderie and trust among these people, both past and present, which has given us the support and strength to enabled us to survive hard times, both physical and mental”

We are very proud to be part of an incredible group of selfless volunteers and we look forward to whatever comes next – Thank you!”.

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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.