A volunteer rescue team based high on the moors above Huddersfield has launched a new appeal for 2016.
Woodhead Mountain Rescue Team wants to raise thousands of pounds to buy more water rescue equipment.
Their usual expertise is in helping walkers on the Pennine moors, but their boats and waterproof suits have proved invaluable over the past two weeks, as volunteers from the Hepworth-based team have been helping save flood victims across the region.
Now they want to do more and have urged people to back them.
The Woodhead volunteers joined teams from across the country providing water rescue support to the victims of flooding in Littleborough, Salford and York whilst also maintaining cover back at home to continue to provide support to their local areas with injured or missing people.
This latest flood support comes less than a month since the team were involved in supporting Lake District teams with flooding in Carlisle and Penrith.
Team chairman Brian Bailey said “Water assets are a relatively small part of Mountain Rescues’ capabilities and one which lots of teams had doubts about for the future as they are expensive with the training for each person costing hundreds of pounds.
“A full kit for each person is around £1,000 and a boat or sled costs around £1,500. However recent events suggest that floods like this will be the norm rather than a once a decade event.
“We are looking at spending an additional £7,000 to increase our water resources, train more volunteers and equip them.
“At the moment this money we don’t have but we are hopeful that with the help of possible grants from local business and organisations along with the continued support from the public we can achieve this sooner rather than later. “
Volunteers from Woodhead’s Water Team were called shortly after 1pm on Boxing Day to Littleborough and Salford when flash floods hit and have spent virtually every day since then helping out in flood-hit communities.
The role of mountain rescue during floods is to ensure the local residents directly affected by flooding are safe and well carrying out welfare checks on people living in flooded houses. The team also helped with the evacuation of a nursing home and help emergency services reach medical emergencies.
In York, the team joined other units in Skeldergate, a main York street which had become up to chest deep in flood water as the River Ouse had burst its banks. The team and their small boat helped several people from their homes who had been trapped inside unable to leave with the rising flood water and no electricity or phones.