Chris Baker, left, receives his certificate from Peter Bell. Photo: Andy Jackson

Chris Baker, left, receives his certificate from Peter Bell. Photo: Andy Jackson

A member of a mountain rescue team has clocked up more than 60 years’ service helping outdoor enthusiasts in distress.

Chris Baker, who has served with the Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association since 1953, received a certificate from a mountain rescue luminary to mark his achievement.

Mr Baker, one of the longest-serving rescue volunteers in the UK, received the award from Mountain Rescue England and Wales president Peter Bell at a gathering of his colleagues in Threshfield, near the team’s base in Grassington, North Yorkshire.

The veteran rescuer has seen his Yorkshire Dales team evolve from a handful of volunteers equipped with a selection of hemp ropes and a stretcher, along with a first aid kit, to a group of 80 experts trained to professional standards using the latest equipment.

So it was fitting he received his certificate from the former Langdale Ambleside MRT founder and inventor of the Bell stretcher.

Mr Baker also received a certificate from North Yorkshire Police at the ceremony held earlier this month.

He is currently assistant treasurer and company secretary of the association, which goes to the aid of stricken walkers, climbers and outdoor enthusiasts in the eastern Dales, as well as cavers in the area’s extensive limestone systems. Mr Baker has in the past held the post of secretary, chairman and operations controller.

He also played for and has been an official of Wharfedale Rugby Union Club for 65 years and is a member of a church choir and churchwarden.

About 60 current and past members of the rescue association joined Mr Baker at the celebration.

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