Throughout the COVID19 pandemic including the previous lockdown’s, Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team (CVSRT) has had the safety of our team members, casualties in our care and the wider community at the centre of how we operate. Like many other organisations, since March 2020 we have had to cancel events, adapt to new procedures, and moved the majority of our training online. In addition to the steps already taken as a result of previous lockdowns and restrictions, we are, along with our local community and the rest of the country, also looking at how best to adapt to the current national lockdown.
Although the team undertake regular online training as far as possible, as with other emergency services, some of our essential training can only be carried out face to face. To reduce the risks we limit the duration of the sessions and the numbers attending to the bare minimum. During the training we operate in small groups wearing appropriate PPE throughout and complete the bulk of the training out in the open. This approach ensures that the team remains effectively trained whilst balancing the COVID19 risks.
An example of this essential training took place today in Sowerby Bridge. A small group of 5 CVSRT specialist Swift Water Rescue team members attended the Halifax Canoe Club slalom course to carry out essential water skills training.
Skills covered included throw line rescue, safe crossing of water flows with tension diagonal ropes and rescue swimming whilst supporting a casualty. Many thanks to Mark from the canoe club for the use of 'splash' the water dummy. Whilst in the water the team took the opportunity to remove a shopping trolley from the water that presented a risk of causing entrapment to river users.
If you do see the team out, please give us a wave and be assured that we are only out completing this essential training or assisting the emergency services on a callout.
CVSRT has operated throughout the pandemic and will continue to do so, however, we can all do our bit to help us and the NHS. If you intend to go out in the hills, please be #adventuresmart. Whilst we would encourage everyone to enjoy the outdoors, now is not the time to push your limits.
Ask yourself 3 questions before you set off:
- Do I know what the weather will be like?
- Do I have the right gear?
- Do I have the knowledge & skills for the day?
Please be safe but also remember if you do need help, we are all here to provide it and if the unfortunate occurs and you do need the emergency assistance of a Mountain Rescue Team please do not hesitate in making that call.
To ask for help you can:
- Phone 999
- Ask for the Police
- Ask for Mountain Rescue