About the Holme Valley Mountain Rescue Team

About the Holme Valley Mountain Rescue Team

The Holme Valley Mountain Rescue Team (HVMRT) is a volunteer-based search and rescue organisation based in Marsden, near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.

The team has 60 members who are on call to assist those in difficulty, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, whatever the weather –  plus a number who are non-qualified trainees, helpers and support members.

The team covers an area of over 1,000 square kilometres of diverse terrain, ranging from rugged open moorland and crags to rural and semi-urban areas, and varying in altitude between 7m and nearly 600m above sea level. This area of operations roughly comprises the southern half of West Yorkshire, and the team operates under the auspices of West Yorkshire Police. 

Mountain Rescue in the UK is an entirely volunteer-based organisation that operates at no cost to the individuals or organisations who are assisted. Holme Valley MRT is one of 48 teams that belong to Mountain Rescue England and Wales – who estimate the annual cost of running this service to be around £2.5 million. Throughout the organisation’s history, it has received no regular funding from government or any other official sources – individual teams operate independently and meet their own running costs on a charitable basis by donations from the public. 

About the Holme Valley Mountain Rescue Team

What do we do?

Although the team’s primary role is search and rescue from the Pennine moors and crags, the specialist equipment and skill-set necessary for Mountain Rescue is frequently deployed elsewhere on incidents “closer to home”. The team is routinely called in by West Yorkshire Police to assist with missing person searches – particularly in cases involving the elderly or vulnerable, or children.

The team is also regularly called in by Yorkshire Ambulance Service to assist with casualties in remote or difficult to access areas – such incidents may be less than 100m from a paved road, but terrain or conditions require specialist equipment and techniques – or just strength of numbers – to extricate a casualty. 

Similarly, when severe weather conditions impede the progress of the regular emergency services, Mountain Rescue teams make up a valuable part of the contingency planning. Snow, heavy rain, exceptionally poor visibility and severe flooding are all scenarios where the specific skills and equipment of Mountain Rescue teams can be brought to bear.

Throughout the UK, Mountain Rescue teams are included as a valuable part of civil contingency planning, on call in the case of a major incident. Holme Valley MRT regularly trains with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service as a part of emergency planning for a possible rail or canal incident in Standege Tunnel, the longest, highest and deepest canal tunnel in the UK – which terminates a few hundred metres from the team’s base in the Pennine village of Marsden.

The team’s base, Emergency House, is a former fire station building, purchased in 2015, which provides garaging for three emergency vehicles, as well as a control room, training facilities, a small kitchen and storage and drying facilities for specialist rescue equipment.

Team vehicle in the snow

The area that we cover

Although named for its original location, The Holme Valley Mountain Rescue team covers a large area, serving all of the southern half of West Yorkshire.

The map below shows a simplified version of our area:

Approximate team area

The map below shows where we have had callouts in the past three years.The number within the marker shows where multiple callouts happened:

Holme Valley MRT callouts map
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