50 Years Service – it's a first
At a meeting of the Peak District Mountain Rescue Organisation last week, Ian Hurst, a founder member, was awarded a framed Certificate of Service recognising fifty years of unbroken dedication to mountain rescue in the Peak District.
It was the organisation’s first ever award of a 50 year service certificate and was presented by The President of Peak District Mountain Rescue Organisation, retired Derbyshire Chief Constable, Mr David Coleman Q.P.M., D.L.
Ian became involved with mountain rescue back in 1963 when he first joined the Peak District National Park Authority as a full-time Warden. As a National Park Warden he became a member of Edale MRT which was still then in its infancy. At that time there was little in the way of an organised rescue service and the national park wardens conected with Edale MRT were always first to be involved when a hill incident occurred anywhere in the Peak. The equipment they used was very basic and often borrowed from “rescue posts” set up by local climbing clubs through the umbrella organisation, The Mountain Rescue Committee of England and Wales.
In 1964 a major search and rescue incident occurred centred on the Snake Pass when a large number of scouts participating in a fifty mile hike were overtaken by appalling weather. Ian worked with the police and others in trying to organise the rescue but they were hampered by poor communications and the lack of a dedicated search organisation to call on. The incident sadly resulted in the deaths of three Rover Scouts.
The deaths shocked the outdoor community and Ian worked tirelessly with other interested people to ensure that a similar event could never happen again. Their determination saw the foundation of The Peak District Mountain Rescue Organisation in 1964 which has since continued to grow into the modern voluntary service which exists today.
During fifty years Ian has served the rescue organisation in nearly every capacity including spells as secretary, insurance officer and treasurer. In 1971 he became a founder member of the PDMRO Incident Controllers’ Panel which took over from the previous Search Controllers’ group. As an Incident Controller, Ian was often the first point of contact when an accident was reported and consequently has since dealt with hundreds of call for assistance from injured or lost people.
Ian was not content with voluntary work at regional level but also played a major role in developing mountain rescue nationally. Since 1970 he represented the Peak District at national meetings and was soon actively involved in all administrative matters, becoming a Trustee of Mountain Rescue England and Wales in 1971.
If that commitment was not enough, Ian also joined Buxton Mountain Rescue Team in 1990 as an active rescuer. He was to become Team Chairman in 1991, a post he held for 10 years until becoming President of Buxton MRT in 2011.
Ian’s has been a life dedicated to the service of others and, as a volunteer, he has never been rewarded with a penny for any of his work. He continues to serve Mountain Rescue England & Wales, remains a trustee of the Peak District MRO and is still President of Buxton MRT.
On presentation of the Certificate of Service Ian retired as an active Incident Controller but his years of experience and local knowledge will still be available to those who follow him. The whole meeting, including representatives from all the Peak District teams, thanked Ian for all his work and dedication and wished him a long and happy retirement from the front line.
Photo, (credit BMRT): Ian (left) receives his certificate from PDMRO President, David Coleman.