A rescue volunteer who raised almost £200,000 for a team was among those who received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Katie Garnett of Brecon Mountain Rescue Team joined 36 colleagues to receive the award from Powys’s Lord Lieutenant.
Mrs Garnett of Crickhowell, a former Army captain attached to the Royal Signals, has been a member of the Brecon team for 25 years.
She has taken part in more than 1,000 rescue operations and personally raised £200,000 for the team by writing letters to businesses, groups and organisations and also applying for grants.
Mrs Garnett is one of the team’s volunteers who come from all walks of life, including farmers, doctors, businessmen, teachers and prison officers. In its 44-year history, the team has helped rescue thousands of people across south, mid- and west Wales.
The medal was awarded to members with five or more years’ service.
Mrs Garnett said: “When I first joined, my three daughters were very young and my husband was left to look after them every time the call came and I had to make a sudden exit.
“They helped get me out of the door quickly by making a flask and sandwiches, and making sure I had everything ready to go.
“In those days we used to pass the call on by phone, so the oldest would take the job of passing the message on.
“Without their practical support and understanding I could not have done it. Each one of us has a story like this, and without the commitment from family, friends and employers we couldn’t provide the service for those who need us”.
Another member receiving a medal was Peter ‘Poj’ Rowlands, from Brecon, who helped establish Brecon MRT in 1968.
He said: “When Brecon MRT was formed we knew nothing about rescue as such.
“Everyone was good with a map and compass; competent in first aid and we had one or two very hobnailed climbers. That’s about that. There was no equipment to speak of and no transport other than personal cars.
“Training has moved with the times and technology plays a prominent part these days, but perhaps the greatest change has been in the image which the team now has. We are very much in the public eye, instantly recognisable in uniform and very professional.
“We’ve come a long way in 44 years.”
Nigel Dawson, team leader of Brecon MRT added: “This is a rare opportunity for me to publicly thank the team members for their unfaltering commitment.
“We have 45 members from all walks of life who come together to help total strangers in often terrible conditions and regardless of the time of day.
“I am proud to lead this team and of the work we do to help the injured and lost across the region.
“Brecon MRT has an excellent working relationship with Dyfed-Powys Police and we have worked closely with Inspector Andy Pitt in searches for missing persons across the Dyfed Powys area. “Chief Superintendent Steve Hughson has also been instrumental in maintaining Brecon MRT’s operational capability during the time we were without our control vehicle. Because of these valuable links we requested that they also attended the ceremony on such a special occasion.”
Last year was Brecon MRT’s busiest ever with 97 call outs and members have already attended 52 callouts so far in 2012. Mountain rescue teams are volunteer services that offer assistance to lost and injured people and are funded by voluntary donations.
The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal has been presented to members of the armed forces and emergency services to mark the monarch’s 60 years on the throne. The medal is for those having made an honourable service in military, police, prison, and emergency forces, or for outstanding achievement or public service.