Today marks the start of a new regular 999 feature looking at the work of emergency crews in the region.

CLEVELAND Mountain Rescue Team deals with more than 60 call-outs a year, going to the aid of people who are injured, taken ill or in need of other help.

It is one of about 50 mountain rescue teams that exist in the upland areas of the UK and covers the northern half of the North York Moors, beyond to Hartlepool and the Tees Valley.

The team, established in 1965, has 47 search and rescue members who are on call 24-hours a day every day of the year.

These include salesmen and students, engineers and electricians, doctors and policemen, teachers and retired people to name but a few.

All have a background in the outdoors whether as walkers, mountain bikers, mountaineers or climbers and all dedicate a lot of their time into their mountain rescue training and incidents.

In addition, there are over 20 operational support members helping to fundraise, acting as injured or missing people and maintaining vehicles and equipment.

They are all volunteers and provide their services free to anyone who needs them.

The team relies on the generosity of local people and groups to cover their £42,000 annual running costs.

Call-outs include missing people and those injured whilst out walking, biking, climbing and horse riding – even paragliding.

In order to be prepared for the wide range of incidents that the team is called to deal with during a normal year, its members train regularly every Wednesday evening and on a number of weekends through the year.

They assist the other emergency services with evacuations and incidents and support them during periods of inclement weather by transporting unwell people or by getting nurses or doctors to patients.

The team have a call-out system with local councils and housing associations to help their residents during periods of challenging weather.

Between 2013 and 2019 team members responded to 399 call-outs where their specialist skills and equipment were needed.

Last year there were 61 call-outs and ten other incidents where their knowledge and expertise were used to help the police.

The most common incidents tend to be from falls on mud or ice resulting in lower leg fractures, wrist fractures and back injuries.

The more serious injuries have been neck and pelvis fractures from falls from mountain bikes and horses and when climbing.

They spend time looking for walkers who have become disorientated in poor weather and looking for vulnerable people including those suffering with dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. Sadly, sometimes they are called open to recover the bodies of people who have died.

They are increasingly asked to assist with flooding incidents.

Team members spent three days at the 2015 York floods and rescued over one hundred people and animals during the first night as the water levels rose.

Already in 2020 they have been on standby to assist with flooding due to Storm Dennis in February and earlier that month assisted with flooding in Pateley Bridge.