Veteran rescue team member hangs up his boots

NEWSAR Team Member Paul Harper has retired as an operational member of the team after 20 years service.

Paul, from Buckley, joined NEWSAR back in November 1991 and it is estimated that he has attended approximately 300 callouts during his time in the team. He has also carried out a number of key roles in the Team including Honorary Secretary, Training Officer and Chairperson.

Iain Ashcroft, Team Leader, said that the Team was grateful for the time and effort Paul has given to NEWSAR over the years and that his skills, experience and humour would be missed, especially during callouts.

Whilst no longer being an operational member, Paul will continue to support the Team as member of our Supporters Group.  He was also made an Honorary Member of NEWSAR in recognition of the service he has given to the Team and presented with an engraved tankard.


Paul Harper on his retirement

(Photo shows Harold Burrows (Chairperson) (left) and Iain Ashcroft (Team Leader) (right) presenting Paul with his certificate of honorary Membership and tankard)

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We’re out and about in the Llangollen area this weekend

The Team is out and about in the Llangollen area this weekend so if you see us, please come and say hello.

On Saturday (24th) we are fundraising at the the Dee River Festival at Mile End Mill, Holyhead Road, Llangollen.  As well as being at the event on the Saturday, the organisers are also holding a couple of auctions to raise money for the Team in the evening.  For more information about the event and the auction, please visit .

Sunday sees our monthly daytime training session and we will be out and about on the Horseshoe Pass above Llangollen practising casualty care.

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12/12 – Callout in the Berwyn Mountains, South East of Bala

The team was called at 13:30 on Wednesday 21st March by Dyfed Powys Police, through North Wales Police, to assist a walker who had become lost after getting separated from their group.  They were in mobile phone contact with the team and reported that they were stuck on steep ground somewhere high in the Berwyn hills.

Whilst we had a rough idea where they were we didn’t have a detailed location, so this turned the job from a quick pick up to a full search.

NEWSAR called in assistance from our four legged friends (and their handlers!) at SARDA Wales (the Search and Rescue Dogs Association).

It was thought that the missing person may not be too far away from the road, so we adopted a search technique that has been used previously on several occasions.  Whilst sounding the emergency siren we drove a team vehicle around the valleys surrounding the location where the missing person’s car was parked.  The missing person was able to tell us by phone when they heard the siren and which direction it was coming from.  Once this was done we had a good idea of the location and a ground search was mounted by NEWSAR team members, who were joined a little later by a SARDA handler and Dog.

Within an hour of deploying from the nearest road head, the missing person was located by members of the NEWSAR search team.  It was found they were fit enough to be walked off the hill.  Team members then escorted them down, with the assistance of the SARDA handler.

The job was completed at 18:00.

This is a good example of when a mobile phone can be a life saver in the hills.  Do carry one, with plenty of charge and credit, but please don’t rely on it as there are plenty of places where they don’t work.  Of course you should avoid using it frivolously to call for assistance, but when there is a real emergency we would rather you had one.

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Recent donations

We are grateful to the following people and organisations for their recent donations.

The Rotary Club of St. Asaph for their £100 donation.  This was presented at a visit of one of our team members to give a talk to the Rotarians about the work of NEWSAR.

The Burton and Puddington Walking Club members for their £195 donation.  This group regularly walks in the Clwydian Hills which are covered by NEWSAR.  We have never had to assist them and hope that we don’t in future, but we are grateful for the donation that recognises that we would assist if required.

The family, friends and work colleagues of a person the team searched for and recovered earlier this year.  Their combined donations totalled a staggering £700  for which we are extremely grateful.  The members of NEWSAR offer their condolences to everyone affected by this tragic incident.

If you would like to donate to NEWSAR to help us continue our work you can post a cheque to NEWSAR, PO Box 37, Mold, CH7 1EZ.

If you are a tax payer please consider completing a Gift Aid Declaration Form and enclose it with your donation.

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