Oldham Mountain Rescue Team Honoured

Reporter: Ken Bennett
Date published: 29 August 2019

The quiet heroes of the hills have been presented with the most distinguished accolade a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

The  courageous Oldham Mountain Rescue Team received The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, at a glittering ceremony at Gorton Monastery.

The team were recognised by their primary role to help injured or distressed in remote and difficult-to-access locations, but their expert skills are often needed to assist the local community.

Severe weather events, such as snow or flood, and major incidents like last year’s devastating moorland fires are just some examples where the volunteers are on the front line.

The team received  the award from Warren J Smith Esq JP, Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, at a ceremony attended by the Mayor of Oldham, Councillor Ginny Alexander and her husband, Adrian,  her consort.

OMRT’s proud leader Rob Tortoishell, from Mossley said: “ I'm over the moon OMRT has been recognised with this award.

“It  is testament to the hard work and commitment shown by team members not only on callouts but in training and fundraising as well.”

He added: “We couldn't survive without the support of our families and of the local community - this is a big thank you to them too.”

Mick Nield said: “It’s  great to get the recognition.

“This is not just for the current members but also all those who have built the foundation of our team over the past 55yrs and for the support of our families.”

Dr Andrew Taylor, the team’s medical doctor said: “As a team of fifty volunteers we are proud and delighted to receive this award in respect of service gladly given. 

“In receiving it we are always aware of the contribution and sacrifices of hundreds of  members over the 55 years of OMRT and  especially of the partners and families of all those members past and present for their support, their missed meals and celebrations as callouts took priority.”

And the team’s longest serving member and president, Peter Hyde, 79, said:  “Simply being nominated for this award in the first place is amazing but actually getting it is almost beyond words — but I will stick with ‘fantastic.’

“As a team we often get to know directly from the people we help that what we do is truly appreciated.

“I see this award as recognition and appreciation from the wider community.  I also believe it reflects back on the individuals, businesses and local communities who support us in so many ways.  I hope they feel as proud of the team as I do.”

The OMRT squad who attended  the award ceremony are : Peter Hyde, team president; Mick Nield, Justin Parkinson, the team chairman; Doctor Andrew Taylor, Nigel Hyde, Iain Atherton, Dave Allport, Rick Beswick, Kelvin Storer, Mike Porritt.

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