Volunteer profile, Richie Boardwell – Operational Hill Party Member
Name: Richie Boardwell
How long have you been in the team?
What you do outside NEWSAR (work and other hobbies)?
I served my country for 17 years in the military. I then worked in the close protection industry for 6 years before retraining as a heating engineer and I now run my own company. I enjoy walking and spending time in the mountains with my wife Babs and our 4 dogs.
Has this been transferred into NEWSAR?
I believe I have been able to transfer the skills I learnt in the military to mountain rescue and after many years serving my country, I am now able to serve my community. My main interests in the team are S(wift water) R(escue) T(echnician) and Haz(ardous) Ground, but that’s not to say I don’t enjoy the other parts of the job like searching for missing and/or vulnerable people, too.
What have you learned while being a member?
I have learnt a lot from being in the team; the instructors are super knowledgeable and training is varied and there is a lot of experience in the topic groups.
Worst and best aspects of being in the team.
Worst aspect of the job for me is waiting around and the weather isn’t always the best, but that comes with the job. Best part of the team is making new friends and learning from what other team members have experienced.
An experience that stood out for me was going to Cumbria during Storm Desmond in 2015 and spending 3 days up there working with multiple agencies and constantly being out with minimal sleep. Probably one of the most enjoyable and rewarding times so far.
To me, NEWSAR has become like a second family and I trust my team members implicitly.