CVSRT - January 2023

2023 New Recruits

To ensure that we have enough operational members trained and ready for call-out cover, Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team (CVSRT) run regular recruitment programmes to look for members of our community who would like to apply to join the team. 

All aspirant candidates go through a three-stage selection process;

  • Application form
  • Open evening
  • Hill skills assessment

This selection process allows the CVSRT to check candidates’ suitability to progress onto the 12-month training programme. 

On Saturday 21st January, 14 candidates arrived at The Rescue Post ready for the final phase of the selection process.  This involved a challenging day on the hill with navigation, teamwork, and stamina all on test. 

The weather was excellent, a lovely winters day. The assessment started at 10:00 with a personal kit check to make sure all the candidates were suitably equipped for a full day on the hill. 

The candidates were then split into groups and set off for a morning on the hill to test navigation skills.  A strict rule on the assessment was that no electronic devices can be used to aid navigation, meaning everyone had to rely on their ability to use a paper map and compass. 

After this, everyone met near Withens Clough Reservoir for lunch, courtesy of 2 of our Operational Support Team members - Anna and Karen. 

Following lunch, the groups were tasked with three 20-minute team building exercises.  Don’t Drop the Bomb, The Water Tube and Quicksand were designed to let assessors see how well each applicant worked together as a team.

The afternoon included further navigation assessment which continued into nightfall.

As the night came the final challenge was an exercise call-out to assist with transporting an injured casualty from Gaddings Dam.

All the candidates then worked together under guidance, to transfer the casualty onto a stretcher and transport them across the moor to awaiting team vehicles.  

At the end of a long day, all that was left was a ride back down the valley in team vehicles, and back to The Rescue Post for a well-earned brew and a de-brief.

Many thanks to everyone who applied to join CVSRT this year and those who attended the hill assessment as well as all team members out supporting and assessing. It was a tough day for some, but all the applicants put in an excellent effort.  

With lots of strong candidates this year it was a difficult decision.  However, after deliberation we have invited 4 new members to join the team this year – Nick, Matt, Sarah, and Scott.

Throughout the year there are plenty of opportunities for aspiring members to join our training sessions as a casualty or a dogsbody.  This provides an invaluable insight into how the team operate and what is involved in becoming an operational member.  For anyone wanting to join the team we would recommend getting involved in these sessions.  For more information, please visit our website

#Congratulations Holly
Congratulations to Mountain Rescue Search Dogs England (MRSDE) and Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team (CVSRT) search dog Holly and handler Al Pepper who, over last weekend, passed their final assessment to become an operational Mountain Rescue Search Dog Team.
It takes years of hard work, training and plenty of treats to get to the level required to become operational.  This included their final assessment that took place over 3 days in the Lake District, where 5 mountain areas needed to be cleared and all the volunteers who where hiding, found.
Rumour has it celebrations included snacks, belly rubs and a dram of whisky.  Holly got some snacks too!
A huge well done from everyone at CVSRT.

He did it!

16 Jan 2023
He did it!
Congratulations to Jonothan on completing the 108 mile Montane Spine Mountain Rescue Team Challenge.  With an elapsed time of 44:34:52 Jonothan tackled the route from 8am Saturday through to 5:54am Monday.
A massive achievement, made more impressive considering the particularly horrible weather over the weekend. 
Congratulations also to all the other competitors who attempted, suffered, completed and maybe even enjoyed this years event.
A thank you to all of the event organisers, marshals and support for the event and a huge thank you to everyone who has wished Jonothan well.  There is still time to support Jonothan and Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team (CVSRT) by visiting his fundraising page

And he’s off!

14 Jan 2023
And he’s off!
Jonothan is on his way and on course with his attempt to complete the 108 mile Montane Spine Mountain Rescue Team Challenge. 
You can track Jonothan (number 616) and all the competitors progress live by visiting the official Montane Spine Website
Jonothan is also raising money for Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team (CVSRT) as part of this challenge, and if you would like to support him and the team you can do so by visiting his Givey fundraising page


11 Jan 2023
On Saturday 14th January 2023 one of our very own team members will be joining fellow Mountain Rescue England and Wales (MREW) colleagues to attempt the The Montane Spine Mountain Rescue Team Challenge.
This is a 108 mile race along the Pennine Way between Edale in Derbyshire and Hawes in North Yorkshire with a time limit of 60 hours in a category specifically for members of Mountain Rescue teams.
To give some idea as to what Jonothan can expect throughout the route the official website provides this description;
 "This challenging and technical section of the Pennine Way is a physically and psychologically demanding route that demands concentration, good physical fitness, resolve and respect." 
“The rugged and very technical nature of this race is mentally taxing, as you have to constantly be aware of foot placement in icy conditions, weather systems, navigation, available daylight and self-management.
“In all of the previous editions of the race competitors have faced at least one of (if not multiples of ) extreme weather, storm force winds, snow, extreme ice, bogs, fog, hail, mud and almost anything else you can think of!”
Jonothan will be setting off from Edale at 8 a.m. on Saturday 14th January and you can track his and all of the competitors progress via individual trackers they’ll be carrying (, and he his hoping to beat his previous best completion time 36.5 hours (non-stop)!
Jonothan is also raising money for Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team (CVSRT) as part of this challenge, and if you would like to support him and the team you can do so by visiting his Givey fundraising page
Good luck to Jonothan and everyone taking part in the event this year.
#Happy New Year
Reflecting on 2022 Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team (CVSRT) received a total of 87 requests to assist the statutory emergency services over the year.  67 of these resulted in full team callouts and amounted to a total duration of 284hrs 49m.  The average length of these incidents was 3hrs 16m.
For CVSRT to remain operational throughout the year a lot more goes into training, fundraising, maintaining equipment and supporting our local community, and for 2022 this commitment totalled 10,942hrs 42m.
Even with this CVSRT could not do what we do without the support of all of you reading this.  The support we receive from the community and local businesses is invaluable and the messages of thanks and donations received is always gratefully accepted. 
While there are too many to list, below are a few individuals, events, organisations and companies who were so generous during 2022;
⁃            Orr Mack foundation
⁃            Bradley Hall golf club
⁃            Family & friends of Ian Holdsworth
⁃            Craggfest
⁃            Barry Green funeral collection
⁃            Bob Utley's funeral collection
⁃            Stanley Oates cup
⁃            John Wyeth charity
⁃            Calderdale LDWA 
⁃            Tangent
⁃            Halifax Rotary club
⁃            Bequeath from Molly Fitton
⁃            West Yorkshire Police
⁃            Christine Newell
⁃            Sowood Womens Institute
⁃            Murts Motor Centre
⁃            West Riding Freemasons
To those named above and to everyone else who has helped the team, those who have wished us well as we pass each other out on the hills, the kids who give an enthusiastic wave when we drive through your village, those who have donated their time and money to the team and to everyone who follows us and has kind words to say on social media we would like to say huge thank you!
From everyone at Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team we would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and a healthy and safe 2023.

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