The dust is now settling after what can only be described as an epic couple of days for the team. The vehicles are cleaned down, kit is hung to dry, team members are getting back to their day jobs, the snow is melting and life is returning to normality.
From Thursday, HVMRT “stood up” to what amounted to over 40 hours of continuous active duty, with shifts working continuously - night and day - assisting commuters trapped on the high cross-pennine routes, freeing those trapped in the snow, assisting West Yorkshire Police with road closures and patrols, Helping Yorkshire Ambulance Service paramedics reach their patients and helping the patients reach hospital if required. Late on Friday evening, with traffic flowing more easily, the team stood down and reverted to our normal call-out procedure - but work continued though the weekend, with attempts to move an HGV stuck on the summit of the Pennines on Saturday, and continued welfare checks on the driver throughout the day when efforts weren’t successful.
With over 15 individual taskings from other services and countless other incidents dealt with through the course of the weekend as we found them, this easily amounts to the busiest weekend in the team’s history. Throughout this, team members worked seamlessly alongside our colleagues from Woodhead Mountain Rescue Team, Oldham Mountain Rescue Team, Calder Valley Search & Rescue Team and Glossop Mountain Rescue Team - who were all operating at a similar levels and dealing with the same incidents - sometimes individually, sometimes with teams working together, sometimes passing jobs to each other as resources dictated.
We’d like to thank all our neighbouring teams for their assistance and support, and a huge thanks to the farmers who worked tirelessly throughout the night on the A62 clearing snowdrifts and towing HGVs to try and help everyone get home.
We’d like to thank the public, for donating to the team and enabling us to carry out this work - we have had a number of very generous donations once the news broke of the work we were undertaking this weekend.
We would like to thank our team members - and of course the members of all the other volunteer MR teams across the country, who give up their time freely to train and respond in order to be able to carry out this work - the MR service wouldn’t exist without team members’ dedication.
And last but not least - those who frequently get forgotten… behind every good MRT member is a supportive family… wives and husbands, partners, children, mothers, fathers, who put up with family plans (no matter how important) being put on hold at the drop of a hat. Who are willing to be woken multiple times throughout the night as calls come in and put up with the grumpy, sleep-deprived arrival in the morning, trailing muddy boots through the house. Those who fill the flasks when we go out and look after the kids while we’re gone. Thank you for your patience, support and understanding.
Without all of you, we couldn’t do this. Thank you.