This week, I want to pay tribute to the brave men and women of Longtown Mountain Rescue Team who bravely put the needs of others above their own safety, sacrificing their time and potentially putting themselves in danger at any time, 7 days a week.
It was my absolute pleasure to visit this brilliant organisation at their base in Abergavenny, meeting the team and hearing about their work and the challenges they all face.
For the last 50 years, Longtown Mountain Rescue Team has provided assistance across a wide range of potential situations to Police Forces across South Wales and into Herefordshire.
Last year the team responded to a total of 40 callouts and, so far this year they have responded to 23 callouts involving an astonishing total of 1477 team hours.
Undertaking this vital role requires the team members to undertake extensive training in order to confidently rescue people across South Wales with a wide range of problems, sometimes in obscure places.
Every member of the team gives their time voluntarily for no payment or expense.
This rigorous training must always be maintained by the volunteers and most members undergo medical training to offer pain relief and other medical assistance in emergencies. The team train at least three times a month with two evening sessions and one weekend exercise. There is also specialist training for example, casualty care, swift water and flood rescue, crag rescue and training on a wide range of technical equipment.
Longtown Mountain Rescue team is a registered charity with incredibly high running costs and relies solely on donations from people sacrificially donating to this great cause.
It costs a staggering £30,000 for the charity to run each year, ensuring the team have the required equipment, vehicles and support facilities to operate and save lives.
For anyone who wants to support the incredible work that this organisation does, I would encourage you to visit their website.