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Volunteer profile – Chris Griffiths

Name: Chris Griffiths, NEWSAR Team Leader

How long have you been in the team?

I joined NEWSAR in 2010, but my first involvement with MR was in the Ogwen Valley way back in 1968 when I was staying in the Birmingham Outdoor Education Centre at Ogwen Cottage. I was again involved with MR in the 1980’s when working at the Shropshire OEC at Arthog, on the flank of Cadair Idris. At the time OEC’s were often the rescue teams in their areas.

What have you learned while being a member?

Lots of skills and techniques but most significantly, that we are a group that looks after each other, a group that trusts each other and a group who has a determination and resolve that I have never encountered before. There are arguments, there is laughter and there are tears, but once the callout comes everyone works together to get the best possible outcome for those who rely upon us. Wonderful.

Worst and best aspects of being in the team.

Best aspects are the camaraderie and the sense of achievement when we help people, especially if they are badly injured, lost or suffering with mental illness. As Team Leader I get great satisfaction watching our members grow in confidence and competence. It is a privilege to be the Team Leader but in reality NEWSAR members do not need ‘leading’, they know what needs doing and how to do it. Worst aspect is when we ‘stand down’ without a find, closure is important for everyone.

Do you have any stand out moments, good or bad?

My first ‘find’ on a missing person search for an elderly gentleman living with dementia. He had been missing overnight in freezing weather and when I found him I was relieved he was in good health. He then had a ‘go’ at me for being late to take him to the pub! Smiles all around.

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