A voluntary team that has rescued and saved the lives of countless stranded walkers is to have a new leader at the helm.
Former Royal Engineer Les Wilson is set to lead Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team into 2014 after Al Day stepped aside.
Les, who joined the Mytholmroyd-based team in 2010, said: “Being part of a strong team has always been important to me and mountain rescue fulfils this need. Calder Valley SRT is a very busy team of committed volunteers and supporters and it is an honour to take over as team leader. Al has done a fantastic job and we thank him for all his hard work and leadership especially during this last year.
“As the Tour de France Grand Départ descends on Yorkshire and passes through our patch, we are anticipating a large increase in people along the route in some of our regions more remote areas. This will be a great test of our skills and resources and will also hopefully increase the teams fundraising opportunities.”
Al, who joined CVSRT in 1999, steps down having led it for 15 years. When Al joined, the team responded to 20 incidents per year and operated two response vehicles from the then newly built Mytholmroyd base. Fifteen years later, CVSRT responds to over four times as many incidents, with with purpose built mountain rescue vehicles based in three strategic locations throughout the Calder Valley.
Al said: “Les has an excellent temperament and the perfect aptitude to be a great team leader.”
As a registered charity, CVSRT provides an essential life saving emergency service to the people of the Calder Valley and beyond. The team is staffed entirely by 50 unpaid volunteers and it costs around £35,000 per year to keep it operational. CVSRT gets no Government funding and all monies come from donations and fundraising events.
Les said the team would be working hard to raise funds for a new Land Rover and to meet the increased running costs of maintaining operational effectiveness.
To support and donate to the team visit, www.cvsrt.org.uk