Here at Senior we’re used to coming to the rescue when our customers need supplies in a hurry. But for one member of staff, being part of a rescue team is a matter of life and death.
Our systems manager John Halstead has been a member of Woodhead Mountain Rescue Team (WMRT) for 39 years. He is currently Deputy Team Leader and one of the 10 Peak District Mountain Rescue Organisation Incident Controllers. His job is to act as first point of contact for the police and ambulance service if mountain rescue is required when someone makes a 999 call.
On 6th March 2017 John was presented with a Senior Leadership Group Commendation from South Yorkshire Police, which he accepted on behalf of the Woodhead Mountain Rescue Team. The commendation was for displaying the utmost skill, professionalism and personal commitment resulting in a successful outcome in extreme conditions for the rescue below.
Mountain Rescue in the Snow
It was a cold and wintry November evening when John took a call from South Yorkshire Police about a 77-year-old male walker who had phoned to say he was lost near the Cut Gate track above Langsett. Using his detailed local knowledge, John managed to work out the walker’s location from his description of the route taken.
The Mountain Rescue team set off to find the lost walker and he was quickly located where John had predicted. The casualty, who had recently had a heart by-pass, was hypothermic and unable to be walked down the mountain. He was given hot drinks and food to warm him up and the Coast Guard S92 Helicopter was called to assist.
By now it was snowing heavily and the helicopter was unable to winch the casualty to safety. Instead, the 18 team members who had gone to the rescue loaded the casualty onto a stretcher and carried him for 2.5km over steep and rough terrain to their team Land Rover. He was then driven to the nearest road, where he was transferred to an ambulance and taken to hospital.
Without the efforts of the team that night, it is almost certain that the man would not have survived. This is just one of the 37 rescues that the Woodhead Mountain Rescue Team carried out in 2016.
At Senior, we are extremely proud of the vital work John does with the Mountain Rescue Team and support him and the team by enabling him to manage incidents from his desk at work. We have also helped refurbish the team’s headquarters in Hepworth, just above Holmfirth by supplying our Hybrid timer composite curtain wall and shopfront doors, to keep the heat in and the weather out even in the most extreme conditions.
Congratulation and well done to John and the Woodhead Mountain Rescue Team. Keep up the good work!