We have been fortunate over the years to have always been able to match recruitment to the ever increasing demand on our services and the mix of seasoned members with many rescue experiences and new, and usually younger, members has served us well.
Today’s recruits need to not only embrace rescue techniques but also a host of high tech equipment as well as advanced medical training – a far cry from my own experiences some 39 years ago.
I have therefore handed this month’s column to Kirsty Hall, a senior logistics manager for a global healthcare company, who has just emerged from our demanding 18-month assessment programme to join us as a full member.
“I have always had a love of the outdoors, which led to my passion for fell and mountain running,” Kirsty said.
“I run competitively most weekends throughout the year and train mostly in the Dales, where I am fortunate enough to reside.
“It had long since been an ambition of mine to become a member of the local mountain rescue team. The service they offer to the area is invaluable.
“Recently with my family mostly grown up and a change in my work commitments, I reached a point where I wanted to play more of a part in Dales life and being able to commit my time I felt I could contribute to the Fell Rescue Team.
“After a successful interview I was invited to be part of the team on a pre-probationary basis. For six months I had to complete a number of training exercises and courses that enable both myself and the team to feel confident in moving to the next step - probationer.
“As a probationer you are included in the call out list and undertake a further enhanced 12-month programme of in depth training, including real time exercises and casualty care (this enables you to assess a casualty and recommend treatment if you are first on scene).
“It was clear that I was also being assessed to fit in with the team’s operations - no place for those who complain of being cold, wet, hungry etc and want to give up, that’s for sure!
“What struck me most is the huge depth and range of knowledge, skills, expertise and experience within the team.
“Without exception, every single team member has made me feel most welcome and are more than willing to impart their knowledge or support.
“It was a special moment to be informed that I had made the grade to become a full member and I am looking forward to playing my part in this truly amazing team.”
Entries are now being taken for our now annual major fundraising event – the Wharfedale Three Peaks Challenge - which again will be held on the last Saturday in June.
We have three routes all across beautiful Wharfedale, and all begin and finish in Kettlewell.
It’s a great day for everyone and there is even a hot meal at the finish.
For more details, visit our website - www.uwfra.org.uk.