North Wales Assembly Member Mark Isherwood has praised North East Wales Search and Rescue Team (NEWSAR) for their “incredible commitment’ during the recent heavy snow fall in North Wales.
Over the weekend, NEWSAR was called to a remote farm on the Horseshoe Pass above Llangollen to rescue an elderly couple who has collapsed from carbon monoxide poisoning after by fumes from their emergency generator came into the house.
Mr Isherwood, who met NEWSAR’s Deputy Team Leader, Chris Griffiths, at their base on the Kingswood Outdoor Education Centre at Loggerheads, near Mold, on Tuesday, said the way in which the volunteer team has dealt with the increased number of call outs due to the heavy snow fall is extremely commendable.
He said: "North East Wales Search and Rescue are owed a particular debt of gratitude for their incredible commitment and for the long hours they have worked during this period of heavy snow fall. Although they normally receive about 60-70 requests for their services each year, they have received some 20 calls over the last weekend alone. This is all the more incredible given that they are all volunteers and that almost all their funding comes from their own fundraising efforts.”
NEWSAR covers an area of 1,126 square miles (2,918 square kilometres) comprising the counties of Flintshire, Denbighshire, Wrexham and parts of Conwy , Powys, Wirral and Cheshire . The team also responds to calls from West Mercia Police in Shropshire and Cheshire Police in Cheshire.
Mountain rescue teams are on standby 24/7, 365 days a year, whatever the conditions, with fast response times helping those in difficult to access areas.
Mr Isherwood added: “The teams in North Wales, North East Wales Search and Rescue and Ogwen Mountain Rescue, have been pushing the boundaries of mountain rescue for a long time, supporting the Emergency Service response at incidents such as the recent heavy snow falls, the St Asaph floods and the search for April Jones in Machynlleth. However, teams across Wales share just £13,000 Welsh Government funding, which is only £1,000 per team, which contrasts with the £312,000 Scottish Government funding for the teams there, equivalent to £11,500 each.”