A visit to the Cave rescue organisation

Sunday 5th Apr 2015

A visit to the Cave rescue organisation

Visit to the Cave Rescue Organisation at Clapham.

On Thursday 2nd April 15 members visited the CRO operation and depot based at Clapham. We were warmly welcomed by Heather Eastwood, Chair, and Phil James the Duty Controller. In the training room we were given a presentation about the work of CRO. This part of the organisation is celebrating its 80th birthday founded in 1935 and is the oldest in the world. It is a Founding Member of The British Cave Rescue Council and also a member of the Mountain Rescue of England and Wales. It is funded by voluntary contributions and is operated entirely by unpaid volunteers. They rescue and assist those in trouble above and below ground in inaccessible areas eg caves, cave divers, walkers, kayakers, Parapentists ( hang glider pilots ) and vulnerable individuals. They work closely with the police. Training is intensive and they can administer drugs and provide high quality medical assistance to the sick or injured. The number of calls for rescue has increased steadily over the years with 80% of calls now involving surface calls. An underground rescue can take 3 hours to 3 days to achieve.
There are 60 members of the operational team, 20 of whom are the core members and the rest have some training but they can all be relied upon to turn up when there is a major incident. Annual running costs amount to £38,000 which comes from fund raising, events, talks and donations from the public.
Heather expressed the thanks from the team to the Rotary Club for providing a lightweight defibrillator which can be a life-saving piece of equipment in some rescues. Before we took our leave Gordon Downing-Stuart thanked Heather and Phil for giving us such an excellent insight into all that is involved in the work of the CRO. They are totally dedicated and perform rescues in unbelievably difficult circumstances. We are so lucky to have them.


Many thanks to CRO Clapham for some excellent pictures

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