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The team has been out and about all over our patch since our last article.

The month started with us being called by Dyfed Powys police to reports of an unconscious walker near Pen Gloch y pibwr, as we had our first team making their way up the mountain the Coastguard helicopter was able to get in through the clouds and transport the casualty to the hospital to be looked after.

We then had to call outs to the Hay Bluff area, one near the trig point summit and one further towards Black Hill. The first involved a gentleman who had had a medical episode and needed urgent evacuation from the mountain, which we did by using our stretcher as a sled and sliding him down the front face while on a rope. The second was an experienced winter runner who got into difficulty in the heavy snow. Working with our colleagues from Hereford Fire and Rescue we were able to locate the runner and walk him carefully off the hill. The team was also contacted by Gwent police to assist with an ongoing search for a high-risk missing person in the Chepstow area. We wish all the casualties a full and speedy recovery.

The big highlight of the month has been quite an honour. Back in December 2021, the team was involved in the search for a missing man in the Abergavenny area. The gentleman in question had been out walking and while taking cover from horrendous weather had had a medical incident. This incident prevented him from calling for help. On the first evening, the team was out from 10 pm till 6 am. The hill members got a few hours sleep while our search managers worked out a plan for day two. At 11 am the team started searching again on the Little Skirrid. After a couple of hours, one of our team members, on his hands and feet, deep in the overgrowth spotted something that didn’t look right, he had found the gentleman. It is hard to explain in words how amazing this find was, Damon followed very subtle clues, used his years of search experience, guidance from his search managers, and his determination to not stop until we had searched everywhere to locate this man. Thankfully he was alive and well, after initial treatment, he was able to be joined by his family. The reason I bring this up is that this month Damon was presented with an award for Search Excellence by the Police Search Governance Board. A senior officer came to our base and presented the award to Damon and we are all incredibly proud of him. What he demonstrated that day is the best of us, the skill of Mountain Rescue and the determination of the Longtown Mountain Rescue Team. Well done, Damon!

Dan Mazhindu

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One response to “Search Excellence award for Damon of Mountain Rescue”

  1. Mary Morgan says:

    As a family we will always be so thankful for Damon’s skill finding him. We’re so pleased he’s received this award and the recognition it gives to Longtown mountain rescue for the many dedicated hours all the volunteers put in to training and going out in some really difficult conditions to help others.

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