Mountain man Mick Nield’s quarter of a century contribution to providing support to Greater Manchester Police has been officially recognised with a prestigious award.
Mick, from Mossley, has received a special Commendation for public service from GMP Chief Constable, Ian Hopkins.
Modest Mick, who recently stepped down as team leader of the Greenfield based Oldham Mountain Rescue Service, 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 (his search dog) takes most of that, but he’s due for retirement within the next year or so, but who knows, I may train another.
“I’m still an active member of the team but I’ll have more time for myself now.”
Mick joined OMRS in 1988, straight into his harrowing first assignment as OMRS assisted other teams searching the moorlands of Northumberland as debris from doomed flight Pan Am 103 spread as far as the East Coast.
A total of 270 people lost their lives including all 259 passengers and crew on board. doomed flight Pan Am 103.
After four years volunteering, Mick was made team leader. Since then the team has answered more than 1,000 calls for help.
The range of emergency calls very from sprained ankles to heart attacks, missing people on the moors, to major incidents such as the 2015 Boxing Day floods across Greater Manchester and most recently the search for missing Emmaus companion, Mick Leadbetter.
In 1995, Mick was also 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 to train to become a search dog handler. Mick recruited Bob and the partnership is still going strong.
Grateful colleagues at GMP Saddleworth and Lees posted their appreciation of Mick’s contribution on their Facebook page.
They wrote: “Mick has worked tirelessly as leader and his professionalism, tenacity (sic) reputation as someone who would get the job done whatever the obstacles is renowned nationwide.
“Well done Mick and on behalf of the Saddleworth Policing team and the Communities across Saddleworth and Oldham we thank you for your outstanding service.”
Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said: “It’s great to be able to present Mick with this special award. His work has been crucial in assisting us with our work. Thank you for your commitment and help over the years.”