Team leader Ben Carter, left, with his predecessor Les Wilson. Photo: CVSRT

Team leader Ben Carter, left, with his predecessor Les Wilson. Photo: CVSRT

A rescue team covering the South Pennines has a new leader.

Ben Carter has taken the reins of the Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team, based in Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire.

He was elected at the annual meeting of the rescuers held last week, and takes over as team leader from Les Wilson who held the post for 12 months.

Mr Wilson said: “I’ve had an incredible year as team leader and it’s been a privilege to work alongside such a strong team. The commitment and dedication shown by full team members and supporters alike has been very inspiring.

“Notable highlights this year has been the rise in the team’s popularity on social media and in the press, which helped to raise nearly £3,500 from the sale of our first ever fundraising calendar.

“We also welcomed the Tour de France to our region, which logistically posed many challenges but ultimately proved to be a huge success. The team is in a very healthy position and I’m sure Ben will embrace all the challenges ahead and will make an excellent team leader.”

His successor said: “Glancing at the year ahead, 2015 already has the potential to be another busy year with a number of major sporting events and community activities occurring across our operation area.

“As our name suggests, we do cover the Calder Valley. However more often than not we are called to locate, treat and recover lost or injured people from Airedale, north and south Bradford and the north-west Leeds police divisions but also the South Pennine moors around Calderdale, Keighley, Baildon, Otley and Ilkley.

“The team is well respected amongst the statutory emergency services and I’m keen for this tradition to continue.”

Running costs for the rescue team are about £35,000 annually and, like most of the UK’s mountain rescue teams, its cash comes from donations and support from the community, local businesses and numerous fundraising activities, with no direct Government funding.

Mr Carter said: “This year we will be working very hard to raise additional funds to replace one of our ageing Land Rovers, as well as meeting the increased running costs of maintaining our operational effectiveness. In 2016 the team will be celebrating its 50th Anniversary so plans are well underway to mark this occasion by acknowledging our beginnings, celebrating the present and building for our future.”

The Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team has more than 50 volunteer members.

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