Joint exercise with Yorkshire Air Ambulance

16 May 2019
On Monday Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team took part in a whole day training exercise with Yorkshire Air Ambulance. The training introduced five new recruit air crew paramedics to: working in a remote environment, recognising when assistance from a Mountain Rescue England and Wales Team is needed and the capabilities we offer. The training also gave us invaluable practise working around the aircraft - identifying a safe landing site, providing on-ground landing assistance and loading of a casualty. The training scenario involved a runner who had fallen into a quarry. Three YAA paramedics were first on scene to provide…

Spring Core Skills Training Day

28 Mar 2019
Last Saturday Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team held a ‘Core Skills Training Day’ at Blakedean Scout Hostel. Traditionally these have been an annual event, though we plan to have another this autumn, to supplement the weekly requirement for specialist training. Whilst we are volunteers, all team members are highly trained to guidelines set by Mountain Rescue England & Wales. At the heart of these guidelines is a set of 10 core skills needed to operate safely as an effective emergency response, which each team member must demonstrate their capability each year. The day was split into three sessions. The…

Finn did well

08 Mar 2019
Yesterday saw the start of Cruft’s and a time of year when dogs of all shapes, sizes and uses hit our screens. For CVSRT, and many other Lowland Rescue and Mountain Rescue England and Wales teams, dogs trained as Search Dogs provide invaluable additional support year round. Since the late 1980’s, CVSRT has been fortunate to benefit from a total of 16 dogs belonging to team members, and our four-legged friends have assisted with many missing person searches. One of those 16 dogs is Finn, a handsome Smooth Collie dog, who sadly passed away after a short illness in February.…

Generous donation from De Warren Masonic Lodge

08 Mar 2019
On Monday 4th of March CVSRT received a generous donation of £1000 from members of De Warren Masonic Lodge, Blackwall, Halifax. Representatives of the Lodge visited the Rescue Post for an update on CVSRT news followed by a demonstration of the capability of our new Incident Control Vehicle, Calder Mobile 4 (CM4). The Master, Peter Reeve, then presented a cheque to CVSRT Chairman David Warden. CVSRT are extremely grateful for this funding which will be used to purchase additional IT equipment for, and undertake minor adaptations to, CM4.

The Big Spring Clean

03 Mar 2019
Yesterday, in support of Calderdale Councils annual Big Spring Clean, CVSRT members and supporters took part in the clean-up of an illegal fly-tipping hotspot. The site, across the River Calder from ROKT and clearly visible from Brighouse town centre, has long been a blight on the local landscape. Technical rope and water safety skills were used to protect team members as they cleared a steep area above the river of an array of fly-tipped items ranging from settees to gnomes! Four hours and three full wagons of cleared material later, the site was transformed back to its natural litter free…

CVSRT Long Service Awards go to three of our finest

03 Mar 2019
On Tuesday 26th February, CVSRT members Clive Green, Wayne Ogden and Martin Woodhead were presented with Long Service Awards by West Yorkshire Police Calderdale District Commander, Chief Superintendent Whitehead. The awards were recognition for three stalwarts of the team who are always there helping to provide stability and continuity. It’s to their credit that after decades of service they are all still active, attend callouts and continue to make a positive contribution to the team. All three are excellent ambassadors for the team and the wider Mountain Rescue family. Chief Superintendent Whitehead said “I am truly inspired by the recipients…

Casualty 'packaging' - Core skills training

06 Feb 2019
Training in the core skills required to be a full hillgoing CVSRT mountain rescue team member is an ongoing commitment. Each team member must demonstrate they can meet the requirements on an annual cycle. Our twice-monthly training sessions focus on learning and practicing these skills. Last night CVSRT held a training session at Halifax Fire Station (the base for CM4 our Incident Control Vehicle) to practice casualty ‘packaging’. This core skill is ‘bread and butter’ for the team - almost all callouts involve some element of casualty handling, packaging and evacuation by stretcher. Team members visited eight ‘round-robin’ stations designed…

How to remain safe whilst out and about in the countryside

03 Feb 2019
Plan your day/route taking into consideration a reliable weather forecast. Let someone know where you’re going and when to expect you back. Make sure you start your trip early enough in the day and be aware of what time it gets dark. Headtorch, handheld torch and spare batteries are essential or take a second torch so you don’t have to change batteries in the dark. Carry a map and compass and know how to use them. Don’t rely on your smartphone for navigation!Using GPS and Apps will drain your phone batteries quickly leaving you without a…

They did it! 2018-19 'Probies' final assessment

02 Feb 2019
On Friday 25th January we reported to the Rescue Post at 1830. The next 20 hours were to be the culmination of the past year of training, and our past six months on the call out list. In total we’d accrued 472 hours of training, 718 hours attending events and 200 hours attending callouts – the equivalent of six 37 hour working weeks each. To secure our place on the training programme we’d already faced a three step selection process which included a hill assessment, and a trip to Croagh Patrick to demonstrate we were ready to respond to callouts…

CVSRT Trainees 2019-20

30 Jan 2019
There’s no denying that Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team wouldn’t exist without volunteers and during last year we received 30 applications from members of the community wishing to join the team as operational full team members. These aspirant candidates went through a three-stage selection process (application form, open evening and a hill skills assessment), to check their suitability to progress onto our training programme. It is with great pleasure that we welcome Alistair, Ed (not pictured), Gareth, Isobel, Josh, Mark and Peter as our new trainees for 2019-20. We wish you every success on your mountain rescue journey. On…

£60,000 cheque helps fund new CVSRT Incident Control Vehicle

30 Jan 2019
Thanks to the generosity of the Community Foundation for Calderdale, Calder valley Search and Rescue Team have a brand new state-of-the-art Incident Control Vehicle, affectionately known as ‘Calder Mobile 4’. In 2016, CVSRT recognised the need to replace our existing Incident Control Vehicle as it neared the end of its active service lifespan. As part of our efforts to raise the funds we expected to spend on a new vehicle, an application was made to CFFC for a grant towards the cost. To our delight and surprise we were awarded the huge sum of £60,000! After spending some time evaluating…

Trainee Selection 2019

20 Jan 2019
On Saturday 19th January, 12 candidates arrived at The Rescue Post for a challenging day on the hill in the hope of gaining a place on this year's CVSRT Trainee Programme. The weather forecast was very grim with a covering of snow on higher ground and low cloud cover, poor visibility and occasional rain making conditions underfoot difficult at times, but perfect for testing the candidate’s navigation and hill skills. The day started with a personal hill kit check to make sure they were all suitably equipped for a full day on the hill. Following this was a quick ascent…

Search Dog Wynn starts operational duties

15 Jan 2019
CVSRT are very pleased to announce that CVSRT Chairman, David Warden and his three year old border collie ‘Wynn’, have recently been successful in the Mountain Rescue Search Dogs England (MRSDE) Assessment, which confirms that they have achieved the required standard for operational duties. You may remember that Wynn joined the team in 2015 as a 10 week old trainee. She is the third dog that David has trained as a mountain rescue search dog, in a process which has taken two and a half years. The MRSDE Assessment was held at the weekend and required the pair to demonstrate…

Learning to cope with all situations

06 Dec 2018
As most of you know, CVSRT is made up of specially trained volunteers from the community – all unpaid, all giving their time freely. We are committed to ensuring that the team is fully trained both physically and mentally prepared to support the community and emergency services, as well as our fellow mountain rescue team members. On Tuesday 4th December, CVSRT welcomed several guests to The Rescue Post to share knowledge and recount their experiences from a variety of situations. First up was Inspector Neil Taylor for Calderdale District of West Yorkshire Police, who came along to raise awareness for…

Co-op Local Community Fund donates a whopping sum of £10,530.00 to CVSRT

25 Nov 2018
Yesterday the Co-op in Mytholmroyd and Hebden Bridge and J&C Warburton Funeralcare in Todmorden collectively donated a whopping sum of £10,530.00 to CVSRT as part of the Local Community Fund payout day. This is the equivalent of over 20% of the teams annual running costs, all of which is raised through donations. We receive no direct government funding and are staffed by over 60 unpaid volunteers who are on call 24/7, 365 days a year. We are SO grateful to the staff and generous customers who collectively supported the team - thank you!! CVSRT are proud to serve, and be part…

Tribute to CVSRT Richard Graves

17 Oct 2018
On Tuesday 16th October, 33 team members, Search dog Jack and Trainee Search Dog Tess were in attendance at The Rescue Post for our regular vehicle and equipment maintenance evening. During the evening, the team paused to welcome Natalie Graves, accompanied by Sally Wright, who were invited along to mount a framed picture in memory of CVSRT Richard Graves. Yesterday was a significant date for Natalie and Richard as it marked the anniversary of their first date. In an informal gathering, CVSRT Leader Ben Carter thanked our guests for attending and spoke of Richards contribution to CVSRT, then read a…

CVSRT Steve Britton receives Life Membership Certificate

17 Oct 2018
On Tuesday 16th October, CVSRT member Steve Britton was presented with a Life Membership Certificate in recognition of his service to the team. Steve is stepping down from active duty to move ‘down south’ for work and to be nearer family. Steve joined the team in 2004 and has held the role of Equipment Officer for 7years and Vehicle Officer for 5years. CVSRT Leader Ben Carter said, “Steve and I joined the team at the same time and I would like to make special mention to his commitment to the team over the last 15 years. Steve has one of…

CVSRT mark end of an era

26 Sep 2018
Last night CVSRT members attended The Rescue Post to say thank you and bid farewell to a long time supporter of the team, Mr Ken Hill who is moving to Wales to be closer to family. Retired solicitor Ken first got involved with the team as a supporter helping out around the base and then moved into an incident control role. For a number of years, Ken also worked fastidiously in the background sharing his business acumen to develop a strong foundation for the team to build and grow. CVSRT would like to thank Ken for his years of service…

CVSRT Training with MP Holly Lynch

15 Aug 2018
At team training this week, CVSRT members had the opportunity to practice various techniques for casualty handling, medical kit protocol and radio communications at Blackstone Edge. 40 team members, Search dog Meg and Trainee search dogs Orion and Wynn were in attendance. We were also pleased to welcome Halifax MP Holly Lynch who came along to meet team members and learn more about the voluntary work we do in support of the statutory emergency services and the local community.

Technology in Mountain Rescue

22 Jul 2018
You may not immediately think that Mountain Rescue would be big users of technology, but over the last few years, Mountain Rescue and Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team have been introducing and trialing new technology to make rescues faster and safer for both casualties and team members. Over recent months, CVSRT has made a significant investment on digital radio technology thanks to donations from the community and local business plus a contribution from Mountain Rescue England & Wales (MREW). This now means that each CVSRT member has a digital radio providing wide area secure communications plus we can quickly…

Probationers trip to Croagh Patrick

04 Aug 2018
‘Flight FR6673 Liverpool to Knock is now boarding at Gate 32’. This was the start of the CVSRT trainees’ journey to Ireland to assist fellow mountain rescue teams at the annual Reek Sunday Pilgrimage on Croagh Patrick, Co Mayo. The next 48hrs were to be an opportunity to put into practice many of the skills we have developed during our first 6-months of training with CVSRT, and also an assessment before being added to the call-out list. With thousands, an estimated 6,000 this year, of people scaling Croagh Patrick in a single day accidents and injuries were inevitable. Pilgrims, some…

Help to prevent moorland wildfires

27 Jun 2018
Due to the very warm weather at present and with a forecast of more hot, dry weather and a large moorland fire on Saddleworth Moor - unsurprisingly there is an increased risk here in Calderdale from Wildfire. The Met Office warning for Wildfires over the next few days is very high. Please look after our moors as they play an integral part of the local wildlife, water quality and retaining surface water and carbon, as well as protecting livelihoods. Please be vigilant and help to prevent moorland wildfires. If you see anything suspicious report it to Crimestoppers 0800 555 111…

MREW Peer Review 2018

17 May 2018
“Professional is not a label you give yourself – it’s a description you hope others will apply to you”. Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team recently took the opportunity to undergo a peer review of all the operational aspects of the team. Three peer reviewers were invited to the Calder Valley from Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team (South Wales), Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team (North Wales) and Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team (North Yorkshire) and spent a weekend with the team. CVSRT is a very proud team who strive to provide the highest level of search and rescue response to the community…

CVSRT Richard Graves

12 May 2018
“Those we love don’t go away, they walk beside us every day, unseen, unheard but always near, still loved, still missed and very dear.” On the 3rd May we told you about a heartwarming story of an incredible young lady - 6year old Amelia Graves, who had decided to have her lovely long hair cut off to help raise funds for two charities. Amelia donated her hair to Little Princess Trust – a charity that creates real hair wigs for children and young adults who have sadly lost their own hair due to cancer treatment or other illnesses. Amelia was also…

Search dog 'Nell'

10 May 2018
It is with great sadness that we announce the recent passing of Search dog ‘Nell’ (a border collie handled by CVSRT Chairman David Warden). Nell retired recently on her 13th birthday having given over 11 years of service to Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team and SARDA England. She was always a confident dog, happy to work at great distances from David and thereby searching and clearing large swathes of moorland or mountainside very efficiently. She was a quick learner and took to search work very enthusiastically. Nell passed her search dog assessment in Snowdonia and joined CVSRT in March…
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