Mark Hodgson: 'very proud and very humbled'

Mark Hodgson: 'very proud and very humbled'

The leader of one of the Lake District’s busiest mountain rescue teams has been appointed an MBE in the New Year Honours.

Mark Hodgson of the Keswick team received the honour for services to mountain rescue.

He has been a member for 40 years and leader of the volunteer team for 19 years. Before that, he was a deputy leader for three years.

Mr Hodgson has taken part in more than 1,200 rescues since 1983 when Keswick MRT started accurate record-keeping of its activities. He said there were also quite a few incidents before that.

Mr Hodgson said: “I’m very proud and very humbled to be awarded an MBE, for doing something I love doing.

“But I’m just one member of a team of 45 highly skilled and dedicated people who all have the same mindset: to bring all their individual skills to help all the casualties we get called to, to receive the best possible treatment and to achieve the best possible outcome following an accident in the fells.

“I certainly view this award as an award for the whole team, a team I feel hugely privileged to be the leader of and without doubt one of the most highly skilled and experienced teams anywhere; and I do mean anywhere.

“Huge thanks to all team members and the four deputy team leaders for all their support and also all the support from my wife Fiona and kids James and Rebecca, for all the family occasions missed – including the occasional Christmas day, though not this year!”

Alan Prescott, the Keswick Mountain Rescue Team chairman, said: “The whole team is absolutely delighted that Mark has received this award.

“He is extremely respected as our team leader and will reach his 20th year as TL in 2013.

“Mark is a very involved with all aspects of mountain rescue, not just in the Keswick area but also regionally and nationally. He is an inspiration to many people and he is always keen to see new ideas and innovation.

“Mark has worked hard and tirelessly to promote the professionalism and dedication of the Keswick team.

“This is wonderful news.”

Richard Warren, a member of the Wasdale team and chair of the Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association, added: “In addition to the 40 years’ service to his team, and 19 years as leader, Mark has made and continues to make significant contributions to the Lakes region and the national body.

“His tireless enthusiasm for mountain rescue in the widest sense, accompanied by his natural ability to manage the pressures of leading one of the busiest teams in the country, are deserved of such a prestigious award.”

The LDSMRA represents the 10 mountain rescue teams and two specialist units in the county of Cumbria.

Keswick Mountain Rescue Team has responded to 100 incidents this year. Its area includes Blencathra and Skiddaw, Borrowdale and a large part of the northern Lake District.

  • Gari Finch of the Cleveland Mountain Rescue Team was also appointed an MBE today. Mr Finch, of Great Ayton near Middlesbrough, is also chair of the North East Search and Rescue Association, the umbrella body for teams in the area.

Three years ago, he also received an award from North Yorkshire Police for his exceptional work in mountain rescue and also for his strategic work with the police.

Mr Finch’s MBE is for service to search and rescue in the North-East.

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