New Team Leader

02 Feb 2014

A new Team Leader for Calder Valley Search & Rescue Team.

After 5 years as Team Leader of Calder Valley Search & Rescue Team, Al Day (pictured right) is handing over the reins and responsibility for the team to his deputy, Les Wilson.

Al said, “When I moved to the Calder Valley team in 1999 from Oldham Mountain Rescue Team, CVSRT were responding to around 20 incidents per year and operated two response vehicles from the newly built Mytholmroyd base.

Fifteen years later, the team has undergone a dramatic transformation; responding to over four times as many incidents with 4 purpose built Mountain Rescue vehicles based in 3 strategic locations throughout the Calder Valley. The team is a well equipped, well trained and a highly skilled search and rescue resource, increasingly relied upon by the statutory emergency services to provide specialist care and assistance to those souls in trouble in wild and remote places. There has been a marked increase in the teams workload due to flooding and last years heavy snowfall which made us realise that Mountain Rescue is not just about assisting walkers, climbers and mountain bikers; but rather an essential service for the community at large.”

“As I hand over the reins to Les after 5 years in charge, the team is in great shape and has just had its busiest year on record with 84 callouts including search dog callouts and one callout in Ireland to assist Mayo Mountain Rescue Team in the search for a missing walker. Les has an excellent temperament and the perfect aptitude to be a great Team Leader. I have every confidence that he will enjoy the challenge as much as I have and I wish him every success in his new role”

Les Wilson joined the Calder Valley Search & Rescue Team in 2010 after enjoying 16 years as a combat engineer in the Royal Engineers and finished his career in the forces as a recce sergeant.

Les added, “Being part of a strong team has always been important to me and Mountain Rescue fulfils this need. Calder Valley SRT is a very busy team of committed volunteers and supporters and it is an honour to take over as Team Leader. Al has done a fantastic job and we thank him for all his hard work and leadership especially during this last year. With the heavy snowfall in March 2013, the team faced many challenges and were deployed almost continuously for 5 days and nights. As a voluntary service, having understanding employers and families that allow us to leave work or dash out of the home at a moment’s notice is vital to the teams effectiveness and I thank them all for their continued patience and support – without which we couldn’t continue to offer the service we do.”

“2014 has the potential to be another busy year and we will continue to respond to the aid of: climbers, walkers, mountain bikers and assist the Yorkshire Ambulance Service and Air Ambulance when requested. We enjoy a close working relationship with West Yorkshire Police and our team is increasingly deployed to assist with searching for vulnerable missing persons.”

“As the Tour de France Grand Départ descends on Yorkshire and passes through our patch, we are anticipating a large increase in people along the route in some of our regions more remote areas. This will be a great test of our skills and resources and will also hopefully increase the teams fundraising opportunities.”

Les concluded, “This year will be working very hard to raise additional funds to replace one of our ageing Land Rovers as well as meeting the increased running costs of maintaining our operational effectiveness. This will be a busy year but we are ready for the challenge.”

As a registered charity, Calder Valley Search Rescue Team provides an essential life saving emergency service to the people of the Calder Valley and beyond. The team is staffed entirely by 50 unpaid volunteers and it costs around £35,000 per year to keep the team operational. All this money comes entirely from donations and support from the community, local businesses and numerous fundraising activities. CVSRT receives no direct government funding.

To support and donate to the team visit: Support Us

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© 2014 Calendar photography by Hanners
© 2015 All other photography remains the property of Calder Valley Search & Rescue Team.