Search and Rescue: Looking back on a great year

It’s customary at this time of year to look back at the year that’s just past, but as the saying goes ‘only look back to see how far you’ve come’. With this in mind we’ve asked our longest serving operational members to reflect on their time in the team…(so far!)

Clive Green (47.5 years service), “In the early days our callouts were usually missing person searches and with about five callouts a year plus we only trained once a month at weekends – so the team today is unrecognizable. Anyone considering joining the team should be prepared to put in a lot of time and effort, but they can expect to be equally rewarded with amazing experiences, as I have over the years”.

Wayne and Ann Ogden have a combined 72 years service to the team

Wayne and Ann Ogden have a combined 72 years service to the team

Pete Farnell (43 years service), “Incident 76 is a milestone for me. It was an all-night search for a 12 year girl who had gone missing on the moorland above Pecket Well whilst looking for her pet goat. We found her (and the goat) safe and well in the early hours. Seeing her returned safely to her parents was priceless. Getting rid of the smell of goat from my car was less so! The reason I keep volunteering for CVSRT is the great sense of camaraderie and friendships”.

Martin Woodhead (40 years service), “I’m a Physics Teacher so my most memorable callout was finding the eminent physicist Sir Fred Hoyle who had gone missing in Shipley Glen. Following an all-night search we found him at 6.30am and saved his life. I then had to go straight into work to teach A-level Physics”.

Wayne Ogden (40 years service), “I was 17 years old and initially joined as part of my Queen’s Scout Award, which fitted in well with my love of anything outdoors. My most memorable incident was searching for Jeremy Peterson who was caving alone in the Gaping Ghyll system on 11 November 1979. He was eventually found 55 hours later in Mud Pot having fallen twice sustaining a broken wrist, hand and rib injuries with just a Mars Bar to eat!”

Ann Ogden (32 years service) “Being part of CVSRT is a huge part of my life. It absorbs a lot of my time and energies but my reward is helping those who are lost or injured to get them to safety. The team used to be called out by landline telephone (one-by-one) but now the system is instantaneously. We use an incredible amount of technology to support and guide the team operationally which helps us to provide a professional, efficient and effective service.”

Mick and Hilary Newsome (29 years service), “In May we will have been in the team 30 years and seen many changes. One of the first vehicles was an ex-police van that we purchased for ten pound. Now we have four purpose built vehicles that can cope with whatever the terrain or weather can throw at them.”

Ellie Sherwin (26 years service), “Initially I volunteered as a “dogs body” for the Search and Rescue Dogs then thought that joining the team would be a good idea, which led me to training my own search and rescue dogs. My first dog ‘Bonnie’ and I were awarded the novice shield for our performance on our initial assessment, and made a find on our first callout.”

We would also like to mention three non-operational members who contributed many years of service to the team - Eric Spofforth (43 years service), Peter Smith OBE (30 years service) and Neville Sharp BEM (29.6 years service).

The commitment and dedication is incredible, not forgetting to mention the collective knowledge and experience which the team has benefitted from.

We thank you all.