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Volunteer Profile – Mark Edwards

Name: Mark Edwards

How long have you been in the team

I joined in 2011 transferring from another local team.

What do you do outside NEWSAR (work and other hobbies)? Has this been transferred into NEWSAR?

I own a guest house in Betws-y-Coed and have been working in the hospitality industry for nearly 20 years. This brings many transferable skills to NEWSAR and not just making tea for the team. Working with different people and organisations and matching people’s expectations, usually in a short space of time, are all part and parcel of not just the hospitality industry but also what we have to contend with in Mountain Rescue on a regular basis. Doing it with enthusiasm, commitment and a smile, even in the most testing of conditions, is the most important skill to bring to the team. Everything after that is easy by comparison.

Your specific interests in NEWSAR.

As I live in a part of North Wales which regularly floods I have always been involved with water rescue in and around the area. This has been as varied as rescuing kayakers stuck in fast flowing water to people requiring evacuation from their house by boat or raft during times of flood. Add to that the numerous searches we undertake for missing people, which has led me to develop a keen interest in search skills and techniques which I am always happy to pass onto others to improve our efficiency not just in NEWSAR but the region as a whole.

What have you learned while being a member?

Patience, when you receive a text informing you of a rescue my first reaction is to drop everything and get there as quickly as possible. Over time experience has shown that whilst expediency is a good thing getting to the RV unprepared is not. Many rescues we attend are complex and require planning, there is equipment to prepare and briefings to conduct. All this takes time but ultimately saves time in the long run, so patience is a good quality to have when out on a rescue.

Worst and best aspects of being in the team.

There are no downsides to the team. You get out what you put in and the more you put in the better it gets. The camaraderie is second to none and it never ceases to amaze me how committed my colleagues are to turn out in all weathers to assist someone in need of help no matter the time of day or the current weather conditions.

Particular moments that stand out, good and bad.

The best feeling with this job is when you are able to reunite a loved one to their family. The sense that you have done your very best to ensure a good and happy outcome even in the most trying of times and the most difficult of circumstances. That is the best feeling you can ever get.

Anything else you want to say.

As a community asset North East Wales Search and Rescue is second to none. The variety of tasks we get deployed to is so varied and really is so much more than just mountains. From rescuing dogs to evacuating people from their flooded homes, saving paragliders stuck in trees or mountain bikers from the forest trails to reuniting a missing loved one to their family and of course rescuing those climbers and walkers from the mountains of North Wales.

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