Mossley mountain rescue volunteer honoured
Friday 19th May 2017 @ 14:39 by Tom Greggan
Mossley & Saddleworth News

A mountain rescue volunteer from Mossley is stepping down after 25 years of support and has been given a special award, presented by Chief Constable Ian Hopkins, as a thank you.

Mick Nield joined Oldham Mountain Rescue back in 1988 and has seen in his quarter-century of service, including some of region’s (and country’s) biggest incidents.

Speaking about his 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.

He continued: “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, 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 became a search dog handler in 2011. He’s pictured with his partner, Bob.












The Lockerbie air disaster, when 259 passengers and crew members, as well as 11 people on the ground were killed, was Mick’s first ever call out as a volunteer.

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 at Oldham Mountain Rescue, Mick was made team leader and since then, the team has had more than 1,000 calls for help. The range of emergency calls the team receives are widely varied; from sprained ankles to heart attacks, missing people and major incidents such as the Boxing Day floods in 2015.

In 1995, Mick was part of the search team looking for Rosie McCann, the five year old girl taken from her Oldham home, who was later sadly found murdered. That search resulted in the development of the Search Advisory Group (now the Emergency Services Liaison Group) of which Mick remains the secretary.

In 2011, Mick decided he wanted to become a search dog handler. He got himself a dog, Bob, and the pair were trained in no time.

Chief Constable Ian Hopkins reserved special praise for Mick. “It’s great to be able to present Mick with this special award,” he said. “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.”