The Holme Valley Mountain Rescue Team is based in Marsden, about 6 miles to the west of Huddersfield on the edge of the south pennine moors and the Peak District.
The operational area of the Team can be summarised as the southern half of West Yorkshire – as shown on the map below. However, because of the way Mountain Rescue works the Team is often called to assist other Teams outside of this area. The terrain covered ranges from the rugged open moorland of the South Pennines and the north of the Peak District, to built-up urban areas. Even though the bulk of the team area is not classed as upland or “mountainous” there are many areas of open countryside and woodland between and within the towns and villages. This mixture of environment is reflected in the team’s call-outs. Incidents range from searches on derelict land in town centres to the walker or climber who may have encountered difficulties on open moorland.
Mountain Rescue Teams are not only for walkers and climbers. Most of the work that the Holme Valley Team is called upon to undertake involves missing and injured people – young or old and in open country or built up areas. Search call-outs are equally diverse and can vary from locating lost walkers to assisting the Police with missing persons, young or old.
Other work carried out by the team includes:
- support to NHS ambulance services for difficult casualty evacuation.
- support to government agencies/emergency services in floods and heavy snowfall.
- support to government agencies/emergency services at major incidents.
- Rescue cover for the Holme Moss Fell Race, The Holme Valley Scouts’ Mountain Bike, Wakefield Hospice Sponsored Walk and Challenge, the Examiner Challenge, and various orienteering events.
- Education and assistance for Scouts and Duke of Edinburgh’s participants.
- The team has even recently surveyed Standedge Tunnel for the emergency plan. The team is also involved in planning and exercises to prepare for response to an accident on either the railway or canal.
New techniques of search management and casualty care, together with the swiftly changing equipment and technology have played a part in reshaping how the Holme Valley Team operates. All Team Members are committed to an ongoing programme of training and all require a professional outlook on the work they do, even though all are unpaid volunteers.
Ensuring the Holme Valley Mountain Rescue Team is able to respond to emergencies is a responsibility some take on, over and above the front line work. Regular checking all of the equipment, fundraising, promoting our image in the community, planning training, and administration are all important aspects of work that sometimes even Members of the Holme Valley Team are unaware of!
Facts and figures about the Holme Valley Team
The Holme Valley Team
- The Team currently has 43 call-out Members, of whom 20 are trained in advanced Casualty Care.
- The Team runs two vehicles and has literally hundreds of pieces of equipment, all has to be checked for readiness every month.
The Team’s area
- The Team covers an area of approx. 962 sq. Kms with and area perimeter of 173 Km.
- This area ranges from 7m to 580m above sea level. Within this area there is a wide range of built up urban and rural environments.
Holme Valley Team Call-outs
- The Team responds to approximately 25-30 call-outs a year which is equivalent to nearly a thousand man hours.
- The average call-out is 3 hours in duration.
- About one third are classed as ‘mountain incidents’.
- Other incidents are mainly searches for missing children, elderly and despondent in rural and semi rural areas.
Holme Valley Team firsts
- The Holme Valley Team was the first Team in England and Wales to have a female Team Leader.
- The Holme Valley Team was the first Mountain Rescue Team in the country to be both a Limited Company and a registered charity.
- The Holme Valley Team was also one of the first Teams to develop and implement a training programme for its Members. This programme was adopted nationally by Mountain Rescue England and Wales as an example of good practice.