Team Members are mainly motivated by their love of the outdoors, with most being active walkers, climbers and mountaineers. However, all Members, whatever their level of skill, receive ongoing training in specialist disciplines such as first aid, casualty handling, navigation, search methods, radio communication and rope work, all of which are specific to Mountain Rescue.
All Team Members must be competent enough to operate, often under pressure and in hostile environments, alongside professional organisations such as the RAF’s Search and Rescue Helicopter teams, Police and the Ambulance and Fire services. They must also be fully conversant with the wide range of equipment used by the Team. All of this training is done ‘in-house, sharing our skills and experiences.
If you are interested in joining the Team we don’t expect you to be a master of everything that we do. All we do expect is that you are at least capable of looking after yourself and others whilst out ‘on the hill’ and that you are able to show the willingness and commitment to learn new skills.
If you are a keen hillwalker, these skills may not be new, but the way you use them will require a new approach. Every exercise is different and over the course of a year you will encounter just about every aspect of Mountain Rescue. Through our proven record of ‘peer training’ methods Members with years of experience of Mountain Rescue, as well as the new Members, are continually learning or refreshing their skills.
This training is a time consuming commitment comprising one Sunday and a few evenings per month. In addition there are other training courses and annual weekends to hone mountaineering and winter skills.
Some call out members complete and pass the Mountain Rescue Council’s ‘Casualty Care’ course which involves advanced first aid, and allows the holder to administer medical gases and specialist analgesic treatments such as morphine.Still interested in joining, follow the ‘How to join’ link to find out more…
Training with the RAF
The Holme Valley MRT regularly trains with the R.A.F. Search and Rescue crews and their Sea King Helicopters. The Holme Valley Team (as with others) has the ability to call in the R.A.F.’s assistance if it needs to deploy search Teams of to evacuate a casualty from a remote or difficult location, and it is through training that the Team and the RAF learn and get to know each other’s methods and techniques – experience that can prove invaluable in the case of a real incident.The Holme Valley Team has regular exercises with the Sea King and its crew so members are familiar with all the aspects of safety, winching and stretcher handling .
In West Yorkshire there are also the Air Ambulance and the Police helicopters to call upon, but neither of these have winching capabilities.
Training with the Yorkshire Air Ambulance
We are fortunate in Yorkshire to also be able to call on the services of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Over recent years the Holme Valley MRT and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance have found themselves working together more and more frequently, and we also undertake regular training together to keep up with one another’s working practices.
The Air Ambulance is much smaller than the R.A.F. Search and Rescue helicopter and operates in different situations and with different techniques. Being able to work with many organisations such as this ensures the team can respond in the most effective manner in order to help casualties when they need it most.
Training with other Mountain Rescue Teams
Upland Britain is covered by a whole network of different Mountain Rescue Teams, all falling under the umbrella organisation Mountain Rescue England & Wals (MREW). Frequently incidents on the hill will be attended by more than one team so it is necessary for the team to train alongside our colleagues in neighbouring MR Teams.
Though they are all a part of the same organisation, Mountain Rescue teams operate autonomously and as such have their own techniques, equipment, terminology and practices. Regular training with our neighbours allows us to communicate and work together effectively when required.