Junior Senior: Move Your FeetiTunesAmazon

Another busy year for Dales rescue team

Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association

4:54pm 12th January 2018

It's been another very busy year for the Grassington-based Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association (UWFRA).

A team of 60 highly-trained volunteers dealt with 50 call-outs across Wharfedale, Littondale, Nidderdale and as far afield as Knaresborough and Ripon in 2017.

The total was just seven short of their record two years ago and the last two days of the year involved the team supporting North Yorkshire Police in a lengthy search in the Harrogate area for a missing elderly and vulnerable man.

July was again the busiest month, with 10 call-outs and five of them in just a week.

UWFRA has also reported a "significant and encouraging" trend showing that the man-hours needed for rescues are reducing each year.

In 2013, they totalled 1,905 hours, and last year, the total had steadily reduced to 1,591 hours.

The team attributes this reduction to new technology and particularly the methods used to speedily form a rescue team and how the rescue can be controlled and streamlined to readily deal with ever-changing circumstances.

Technology has also helped the team by reducing the number of volunteers needed on a call-out and it's now very rare that the entire team is needed for one rescue.

During the year, UWFRA also rescued its 1,500th person, a walker with a broken ankle near Arncliffe.

He's recovered well and both he and his family have become dedicated supporters of the team.

Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association on Ilkley Moor

Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association helping an injured climber on Ilkley Moor

Team controller Derek Hammond said: ''The biggest category of rescues has been due to injuries, with 19 of these being to the lower legs. Overdue or lost rescues were down to five and again a pleasing figure demonstrating that safety precautions and preparation methods are being practised.

"Fatalities were again at two, a new low in recent times. Good news for animals as well, as only two needed rescuing - a spaniel called Chubbs who had fallen down a 60ft hole near Pateley Bridge before being returned uninjured to its delighted owners and a dog with its owner who had become trapped on a ledge near Bolton Abbey.

''Nidderdale rescues continue to rise, with 19 over the year, of which four were at Brimham Rocks, and Ilkley Moor had its fair share of eight. Searching for vulnerable people who had gone missing from their local communities accounted for eight call-outs - the average over recent years.

"Caving rescues, which as you would expect are long in duration and require a lot of manpower and equipment, there was just the one when a caver was stuck underground at Swan Dike Pot, Pen-y-ghent Gill, with 22 members taking some 200 man-hours to get him out. This was in addition to the support given from adjacent team CRO, the Cave Rescue Organisation.

"Two call-outs in two hours was a challenge, but luckily both were in the same area - first, a walker with a suspected broken leg on Ilkley Moor and then an injured child on Otley Chevin. In both cases, the team treated the injury before stretchering to an awaiting road ambulance."

Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association's training facilities

Training facilities at Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association's headquarters in Grassington

Derek added: "Away from actual rescues, the team continued with specialist training, as well as equipment and headquarters maintenance, with Monday evenings being the regular time. It is calculated that this behind-the-scenes work amounts to some 5,000 extra hours.

"In addition to all this, team members somehow find time to perform fundraising activities, and last year, they excelled themselves attending local shows and events spurred on by the need to fund our recent major building extension costs - even more time away from their families.

"The major fundraising event was again the UWFRA Wharfedale Three Peaks Challenge, in its fourth year and bringing in a brilliant £7,000 of much-needed funds for the team. This year's event, which again will be held on the last Saturday in June, is well into its planning stage and bookings are now available online.

''A sad day was remembered when members attended a memorial church service to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Mossdale Caverns caving tragedy when six young cavers lost their lives. We were the lead organisation on this dreadful day in caving history and still have members today who took part in the attempted rescue.

"The team has a very healthy mix of young members, several having joined during the year, and the long-standing members who, of course, have such rescue situation knowledge of the Dales above and below ground.

"We continue to strive to obtain the best technology we can afford to add to our own expertise and dedication, and we are always so grateful to members of the public who through their support, donations and fundraising keep us going.''

More information about the team at www.uwfra.org.uk

More news from across Harrogate, Craven and Wharfedale

Breaking local news for Harrogate, Craven & Wharfedale direct to your mobile from Stray FM

Share This Story

Submit this page to reddit
Suggested articles
North Yorkshire fire and rescue fire engine

Firefighters rescue child from Ripon house

Their mum had been locked out.

Listed Chapel at Scargill House

Christian retreat plans approved in the Yorkshire Dales

Group had faced opposition to plans to bulldoze building surrounding a Grade II-listed chapel.

Most read
Youths cause 'irreplaceable' damage to Brimham Rocks

PICTURES: Youths cause 'irreplaceable' damage to Brimham Rocks

Investigation into damage at North Yorkshire beauty spot.

Newer article

International volunteers help create Yorkshire Dales woodland

Harrogate, Craven & Wharfedale: Refugees from all over the world planted trees in the area near Settle.

Top articles

Councillors reject plans for new homes in village near Boroughbridge

Harrogate, Craven & Wharfedale: The parish council in Kirby Hill feared the development could 'swamp' the village.

Father and son found dead in Huddersfield river 'were looking for metal'

National: The bodies of a father and son have been discovered in a river after the pair went missing during a magnet fishing trip.

World Cup 2018: Mexico fans may have caused earthquake celebrating win over Germany

World: Mexico football fans are believed to have caused a minor earthquake as they celebrated their team's shock win over Germany at the World Cup.

Jose Mourinho backs England to beat Tunisia in World Cup opener

Sport: Jose Mourinho believes England will not suffer the same fate as several other top nations and pick up a victory in their opening World Cup match.

Daughter of late singer Chris Cornell unveils duet on Father's Day

Showbiz: The 13-year-old daughter of singer Chris Cornell has unveiled a duet with her late father, a year after his death.

Divorce: A Blame Game

Business: Could no-fault divorce be on the way?

Why local parents are hiring nannies

Education: Perfect for the school holidays.

Hundreds of students run to support cancer sufferers

Family: The pupils at Queen Ethelburga's Collegiate ran a 5km Race for Life, in an event that started as a means of support for one student.

Causing a splash with Waterloo!

70s On This Day: It was the day ABBA released this album in the UK

Harrogate Hospice's sculpture tribute for loved-ones

Harrogate, Craven & Wharfedale: A new sculpture will pay a lasting tribute to loved-ones at Harrogate's Spring Flower Show.

Unique Sixth Form Experience

Education: A staggering 92% of pupils from St Aidan's and St John Fisher's Associated Sixth Form gained places at their first or second choice institution.

Yorkshire herbs on the menu

Food and Drink: It's thyme for some serious flavour.

Simple swaps for healthy eating week

Food and Drink: 5 easy swaps to make a nutritional diet as easy as possible!

POISONED: Red kite found dead near Knaresborough

Harrogate, Craven & Wharfedale: Police have received confirmation of the poisoning.

Top Party Dresses for the Festive Season

Christmas: Local Blogger, the Harrogate Girl, picks the best frocks, gowns and outfits for the big Christmas parties of 2017.

The Yorkshire floods: one year on

Special Reports: People affected by last year's downpours describe what has happened in the last 12 months

Delve into deliciousness at Mother Shiptons Inn

Test pages: We sent Stray FM's James Stanley to try out the new menu at Mother Shipton's Inn Knaresborough.

LIVE: Stage 4 of the Tour de Yorkshire

Harrogate, Craven & Wharfedale: The Final stage of the Tour de Yorkshire is on today today, passing through Otley, Blubberhouses, Pateley Bridge and Skipton.

Tour de Yorkshire host venues confirmed

Harrogate, Craven & Wharfedale: There'll be no re-run of this year's memorable Tour de France stage finish in Harrogate.

Poll

Love Island...

Trending in Yorkshire

Councillors reject plans for new homes in village near Boroughbridge

The parish council in Kirby Hill feared the development could 'swamp' the village.

Plans for new homes in Spofforth deferred over safety fears

Councillors concerned about extra traffic.

Young people express LGBT experience at Harrogate Pride

Artwork to go on show as celebration return for its second year.

Kex Gill repairs to start next week

The initial works could be completed in three weeks, allowing the A59 to open to single lane traffic.

Northern releases timetables for next week's strike

Members of the RMT union are walking out on Tues 19th, Thu 21st and Sat 23rd June.

More news...