Mick Nield from Mossley has been given a special award presented by Chief Constable Ian Hopkins for supporting GMP for the last 25 years.
Mick joined Oldham Mountain Rescue back in 1988; the first major call-out he attended was the Lockerbie air crash, which killed all 259 passengers and crewmembers, as well as 11 people on the ground. Oldham Mountain Rescue assisted other teams in searching the moorlands of Northumberland as the debris had spread as far as the East coast.
After four years of volunteering for Oldham Mountain Rescue, Mick was made team leader. Since then the team has answered more than 1,000 calls for help. The range of emergency calls very widely from sprained ankles to heart attacks, missing people on the moors, to major incidents such as the 2015 Boxing Day floods across Greater Manchester.
In 1995, Mick was part of the search team looking for Rosie McCann, the five year old girl who was taken from her home in Oldham and was sadly found to have been murdered. The search resulted in the development of the Search Advisory Group, now known as the Emergency Services Liaison Group and Mick remains the secretary.
In 2011, he decided he wanted to train to become a search dog handler. Mick got himself a dog he called Bob and in no time, trained him and Bob to become a search dog and trained handler.
About the award Mick said: “It’s humbling to be given this award, I can’t believe it’s been 25 years. I’ve really enjoyed it but it has certainly been a challenge at times. Of course there are some events and incidents that I will never forget, such as the Lockerbie air crash. Days like those are long, stressful and draining both mentally and physically. But when you have a good team around you like I did, it makes it all worthwhile.
“My wife says I have to find something more to fill my time now, having Bob takes most of that, but he’s due for retirement within the next year or so, who knows, I may train another. I’m still an active member of the team but I’ll have more time for myself now.”
Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said: “It’s great to be able to present Mick with this special award, he has supported GMP for many years and his work has been crucial in assisting us with our work.
“He has worked on many major incidents that have happened across Greater Manchester and further afield and he will have seen some devastating things that he will never forget. Thank you for your commitment and help over the years.”