After the COVID-19 lockdown was eased at the end of March 2021 things were initially quiet for the Team but that quickly changed on 9th April when the Team had two call-outs, within hours of each other, both to search for missing people. Since then it’s been virtually non-stop with a total of nine call-outs in just nine days, some with very sad outcomes (see our Call-outs page for more details).
Even before recent events, it was already shaping up to be a busy year for our members following a number of weather-related calls. In January and February (due to floods and snow) we received six requests to provide assistance to ambulance crews, district nurses and a mental health carer. Our water & flood rescue team was also called upon on two occasions due to vehicles that ran into difficulties when the drivers attempted to cross flooded fords.
So far this year the Team has been called out on 23 occasions plus there have been nine other incidents where the Team has undertaken work on behalf of the emergency services and other agencies. The amount of time contributed by the Team’s Search and Rescue volunteers has already reached 1,262 hours (at the equivalent stage in 2020 it was just 516 hours).
The 23 call-outs to date this year represent a 41% increase on the average for the same period across the previous three years.
All this comes at a time when the impact of COVID-19 has been widely felt by the team. Whilst members are expected to purchase most of their own equipment, all PPE including waterproof clothing is provided by the Team to ensure a professional capability. However, each call-out now requires every Team member to wear full PPE, including a Team jacket, regardless of weather conditions. Members are advised to decontaminate every piece of outer clothing after each call-out and to regularly re-proof the waterproof items. The increased level of calls this year has only accelerated the rate of wear of the already ageing waterproof clothing which is now in need of replacement.
The cost to provide each Search and Rescue Team member with a waterproof shell jacket and trousers, enabling them to operate in all possible conditions, is approximately £400 per person. The Team has therefore launched a project to raise £20,000 to re-equip the team.
We are looking for a local company to fund this project, either singularly or as part of a small group, and are looking to engage with companies that share our passion for the local area and community. The Team has a strong following coupled with a track record of highly visible support to local communities.
If anyone can help by funding this project they are asked to please contact the Team’s Fundraising Officer Claire Starkey via: firstname.lastname@example.org for any further information or to talk about how they can be part of this special community project.
Applications can be made to join the team in a support role (Operational Support) or as a hill going (Search and Rescue) member.
Applications for either role can be made at any time. Intakes for Operational Support members occur at various times of the year. There is one annual intake for Search and Rescue normally each September.Join Now