CVSRT - December 2023
Christmas Street Collection
£2,643.70! Amazing.
Such an incredible amount.  
Every year we are amazed at the generosity shown by the people we meet during our annual street collection and this year was no exception. Thank you to all the shoppers out in Keighley and Halifax last Saturday. 
All of the team’s operational and trainee search dogs and supporter dogs would also like to say thank you for the fuss. 
If you missed us you can visit for details on how you can support the team.  
Many thanks also to the lovely people of Althams Travel Services and the Nosey Cow Bar in Keighley, who kept the team warm with free hot drinks through the day.
Thank you and we wish everyone a happy and safe holidays. 
Annual Christmas Street Collection
Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team (CVSRT) will be out in Halifax and Keighley town centres on Saturday 16th December.  
The team will be in both town centres between 10am and 4pm, and if you see us please pop over and say hello.  We will be happy to talk to everyone about the work we do.  We will also have some of our Search dogs with us too!  Who can resist the chance to pet some cute doggies.
We are proud to call this area our home and each year are humbled by the generosity shown in donations received.  Remember if you do not get chance to see us on the day you can visit our site to see how you can support us all year round -


10 Dec 2023
Each year, typically over the depth of winter, Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team (CVSRT) hold a recruitment assessment to get to know those looking to join the team.  
Scott, Matt, Nick, and Sarah, joined in January, following our 2023 assessment, and we asked them to take a look back over their first six months in Mountain Rescue, which culminated in a July visit to Ireland supporting our friends in Dublin & Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team.
Why did you put yourself forward to join CVSRT?
Sarah - I have always been very keen on the outdoors. I studied Outdoor Education at university and was an avid climber, skier, and hill walker. The outdoor lifestyle met hiatus 11 years ago when I had my first child, then a second. Putting myself forward for Mountain Rescue was a way for me to be part of an outdoor family again, which I love and have greatly missed. It has also proven to me that I haven’t lost all of my skills and that I do have something to contribute to the team. I was really nervous before the trainee selection hill day, but am very pleased that I attended!
Scott - I wanted to connect myself into my new community and area. I like being hands on and useful. 
Matt - Now my kids are a bit older I wanted to rebuild a new community of friends. I’ve always been more comfortable doing this while working as I’ve never mastered small talk. I also want to learn some new skills and thought I’d enjoy the excitement of call outs - which it turns out, I do :) 
Nick - I want to give something back to the community, learn new skills and apply my skills to the role, in the hope of helping others in need.
Do you enjoy being part of the team?
Nick - Being ex-army, I missed the camaraderie of being part of a team. Joining CVSRT has enabled me to be amongst like-minded people with the same goal in mind.
Scott - I do enjoy being part of the team. We enjoyed a nice social event in the French Alps this summer, which was really good fun and great to be out in the mountains. 
Matt - Yes, having worked on my own for years, I thought I might struggle with a hierarchy, but everyone is really nice, and I like the sound of the democratic decision-making structure.
Sarah - Definitely! I love the mixture of personalities and wide-ranging skills that the team possesses. I’m very impressed with the team’s level of medical knowledge, water, and rope rescue skills, and how the team works together. 
What do you do in the weekly training sessions?
Matt - Whatever I’m told! 
Sarah - Tuesday night training is the highlight of my week. Most of the sessions are very practical, from learning how to set up a rope system to raise or lower a stretcher, to practicing throwing a throwline in the river. There is so much to learn and remember, but as the weeks have gone by things are becoming much more embedded.
Nick - The training session vary each week. Being new, it can be daunting, but this is to be expected. We have to walk before we run. Training involves learning and re-visiting skills for all team members.
Scott - We cover various important skills from ropes to medical, it is great to get an all-round understanding of how the team works. 
How was the Ireland assessment weekend?
Scott - The assessment in Ireland was wet. It was hard work getting gear up and down the mountain, but I was glad to be there and prepared just in case. 
Matt - Wet, but really great. Nice to get to know more about Mountain Rescue, Ed (the team’s probationary trainer), and my fellow trainees. 
Sarah - A weekend away, what’s not to like?! I’d never been to Ireland and was blown away by the beauty of the West Coast. The aim of the trip was to help out at the Reek Sunday Pilgrimage on Croagh Patrick, near Westport, whilst consolidating our learning so far in a practical environment. It was great to be invited over to join with the Dublin and Wicklow MR team, and to also meet team members from all over Ireland. The Sunday was very wet, and much time was spent stationed on the hillside peering out of a KISU (storm shelter), watching, ready to assist the pilgrims if needed. Fortunately, we walked up to the summit of Croagh Patrick the day before, when the weather was a little more clement and a view could be found! 
What is it like to now be a probationary member on active callouts?
Sarah - I’m pleased to say we all were promoted from trainee to probationary team member after the trip to Ireland. Being on active call-out is fantastic! However, when the call goes out, I have to remind myself to keep calm and not to rush. You soon learn to keep your rucksack fully packed, a set of team clothing to hand, and your walking boots by the door!
Scott - I love being on active callouts, I enjoy the sense of urgency and feel valued as part of the team attending a scene where somebody is in need of help. 
Matt - Fab, I’ve enjoyed both I’ve been able to attend. Good to be able to apply the training so far. 
Nick - I’m looking forward to attending call outs. I’m still a little nervous/excited about going live on my first one, but the more I do the more confident I’ll become.
What are your aspirations within CVSRT for the future?
Matt - Cas care, blue light driving, water rescue, and lots of new friends, adventures, and experiences.
Nick - I’d like to work towards improving my rope skills, as I’m a keen trad climber, so enjoy this aspect of the training. To be honest, I enjoy all of the training.
Scott - At the moment, I have not decided what area of the team best fits my personality. I am happy watching people being good at what they do. In time I think my role will become more apparent. 
Sarah - Hopefully, we all pass our probationary assessment in January to become full team members! I have a particular interest in casualty care and rope systems and would like to pursue these areas. I look forward to many adventures with the team in the future.
To anyone with a passion for the outdoors and wanting to join Mountain Rescue England and Wales (MREW), we would recommend attending the Trainee Selection Hill Day.  Who knows, next year it could be you writing this! 
For more information, email, or message us though one of our social media channels.

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