Lost walkers, injured bikers and stranded motorists: Mountain rescue team experiencesÂ busiest year ever
A mountain rescue team that covers South Yorkshire and the Peak District has experienced the busiest 12 months in its 52-year history.
The Woodhead Mountain Rescue Team responded to a record 57 incidents in 2018, ranging from lost walkers and injured mountain bikers to vulnerableÂ missing people and stranded motorists when the UK was hit by the Beast From TheÂ East storms.
The team is made up of 45 volunteers from all walks of life whoÂ attend training sessions every week to maintain their skills '“Â in addition, members also go to fundraising events to help raise the Â£30,000 per year needed to operate the emergency service.
In total, during 2018, rescuers volunteered 6,403 hours of their time.
'One incident that stood out in 2018 was a report of injured walkers taking part in their DukeÂ of Edinburgh Award training,' said team officer Steve Cullabine.Â 'The callout came on the Easter weekend at 7:00pm asÂ darkness was falling. Along with Holme Valley Mountain Rescue Team, members located theÂ injured party and due to the remote location and the freezing snowy conditions, a requestÂ for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency helicopter to attend was made.
'Due to low cloudÂ the helicopter tried for some hours to reach us, in the meantime we needed to plan for inÂ the event, the helicopter could not reach us, a call for extra manpower was made and shortly they joined us to help with the extremely long and physically demanding stretcher carry.
'Thankfully, around 2:00am after refuelling, the helicopter managed toÂ touch down thanks to the expert piloting of the captain and theÂ casualties were airlifted to hospital.'
Meanwhile, last February the team rescued aÂ lorry driver from his stranded truck after he enduredÂ a freezing night on the Woodhead Pass between Sheffield and Manchester. He got stuckÂ close to the summit of the pass near the turn-off to Dunford Bridge.
The work of rescue teams is no longer confined to mountainous regions. The police and ambulance service call on members' expertise toÂ help search for missing people in urban areas, and deal withÂ casualties in remote and dangerous locations.
'We couldn't do without the fantastic support and donations fromÂ the local community and businesses,' said Steve.Â 'We'd like to say a huge thank you toÂ everyone that has dug deep and spent valuable time raising money andÂ supporting us through 2018 '“Â without you, we simply wouldn't exist.'