Planning and dealing with call-outs and incidents

A large incident can involve operating with many other teams and organisations

A large incident can involve operating with many other teams and organisations

As all civilian Search and Rescue operations within the UK are the responsibility of the Police the Holme Valley Team is usually called out via West Yorkshire Police. Sometimes this follows a 999 call if there is an emergency but  the Team can be contacted and requested to assist in ongoing enquiries.

The Team Leader is responsible for the planning, organisation and running of a search – supported by assistant leaders.This involves working with the Police officer in charge and sometimes other Teams and members of the public. To support this the Team has a Police Liaison Officer (who is a serving police officer).

The call-outs and incidents process

The steps below represent what is not often seen by the public – from the Police first contacting the team, through to the end of a call out with a casualty evacuation.

Managing an incident from the Team's Control Vehicle

Managing an incident from the Team’s Control Vehicle

  1. The Holme Valley Team is run by a Team Leader and Deputy Leader, backed up by six assistant leaders. One of these will get a ‘prior call’ from the Police. They will then start to plan the best action to take. This will involve gathering information and planning how best to use the Team’s resources.
  2. By this time a pager message will have been sent to all the ‘call out’ members. After they have been briefed they will then be out searching. On the hill, search parties of usually 4 or 5 people are lead by a trained party leader and will complete the tasking set by the Leader.
  3. Planning an evacuation route

    Planning an evacuation route

    Once the casualty is found, first aid is administered, if required, and equipment is brought in to enable a casualty evacuation. Meanwhile, leaders are planning any extra resources that may be required to help evacuate the casualty and making necessary arrangements.

  4. The Holme Valley Team is able to call upon specialist organisations to assist with any search and rescue situation if they are required. These include Yorkshire’s Air Ambulance, Mountain Rescue’s Search and Rescue Dog Association (SARDA) handlers or the RAF’s search and rescue helicopter.