Welcome to the team Orion.
A huge congratulations from everyone at the Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team to search dog Orion and handler Gary for successfully passing their Mountain Rescue Search Dogs England assessment over the last weekend. They have now officially become an active, operational air scenting search dog team.
While the weather was excellent, the assessment conditions were quite the opposite and the whole weekend was a real test for both handler and dog. In the end both could rely on the last 3 years of hard work, training and dedication to see them successfully through the assessment.
Gary would like to say thank you to everyone who has supported them over the years - at times spending hours hiding as a dog body in awful conditions. And in particular he would like to give a special thank you to Anna Wilthew who gave her time to help body over the assessment weekend.
Orion would also like to say thank you to everyone, and in typical Springer Spaniel fashion he did that with a full body and tail wag.
A final message from both Gary and Orion, which I think the rest of the search dogs and handlers would allow on this occasion is to say that at last we have a ‘Proper Dog’ on the team!
15,000 hours! - Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team (CVSRT) 2019 in numbers
Every member of CVSRT commits a large amount of time each year to train, support and provide assistance when called upon and 2019 was no exception.
This year we attended 87 full team call outs assisting the emergency services including Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS), West Yorkshire Police (WYPS), Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA), Hazardous Area Response Tram (HART), West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue (WYFR). Our busiest month for call outs was June in which we attended 15.
Exercises which include training (casualty care, search dogs, rope skills) and maintenance are an essential part of our regular activities. This is to ensure our skills are of the highest standard, all recognised qualifications are maintained and all of our equipment and vehicles are kept to operational standards.
Supporting our community plays an important role which sees the team regularly visiting local schools and groups, supporting organised events and raising awareness of what we do.
2019 saw an investment of 15,377 hours of voluntary time for the team. This is the equivalent of approximately 8.5 people working full time.
We would like to thank all of our members and supporters for their commitment every week and to all of the families, friends and significant others who, no matter the impact to themselves, support us through each and every one of those 15,000 hours.
And finally a thank you to everyone who has supported the team financially, on social media or a welcome hello when we are out on the hills. It genuinely means a lot to us and without this support we would not be able to keep going in 2020.
We hope everyone had a good 2019 and we wish you all a happy and safe 2020.