Mike Park was elected senior executive officer of MREW

Mike Park was elected senior executive officer of MREW

A member of Cockermouth Mountain Rescue Team has been elected head of the umbrella body for teams in England and Wales.

Mike Park will take over as senior executive officer of Mountain Rescue England and Wales after being voted into the post at the charity’s annual meeting.

The AGM was staged online on Saturday during which 47 teams from across the two nations took part in the election.

Mr Park will be supported by operations director Mike Margeson; liaison officer Mike France; president Ray Griffiths, and chair of trustees Jake Bharier.

Mr Park joined Cockermouth Mountain Rescue Team in Cumbria when he was 18 and has held various positions of responsibility within the team during 38 years as a member, including being team leader for a decade. He led the team in that role during the first major flooding incident in the town in 2009 and he has been a member of the Cumbria Local Resilience Forum on behalf of the Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association for several years. He is a member of the MREW SAR-H helicopter group and was the lead on this between 2018 and 2020. He was appointed an MBE for services to mountain rescue in 2011.

Mr Park, who is based in Cockermouth, said: “I am looking forward to working with colleagues throughout mountain rescue to shape MREW for the future and I’d like to thank all the teams that voted for me.

“My first priority is to get out to the different regions to listen to members. I know mountain rescue in the Lake District very well but I want to understand the challenges faced by mountain rescue volunteers in other parts of the country and to hear first-hand how MREW can better support their work in local communities and during emergencies and major incidents.”

Outside of his voluntary rescue roles, Mr Park works in strategy and planning for Sellafield Ltd, where he is the spatial planning lead.

Mike Margeson, who has been MREW’s acting SEO for the past year, said: “Mike Park is an experienced leader with a strong history in mountain rescue and great connections across our organisation.

“He comes into the SEO role with practical experience of the sort of multi-agency working that has become a very visible role for mountain rescue volunteers in recent years. I know Mike is keen to work with teams across England and Wales to shape MREW for the future. I’m looking forward to working with him and wish him all success as he takes on this vital role for mountain rescue.”

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