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Highland Heroes: Lifesaving rescue team urges people to nominate their heroes for top award

By Philip Murray

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Rescue 151 won the Emergency Services or Armed Forces Award. Award presented by Robert Thorburn of Openreach. Picture: James Mackenzie.
Rescue 151 won the Emergency Services or Armed Forces Award. Award presented by Robert Thorburn of Openreach. Picture: James Mackenzie.

Lifesavers who battled horrific mountain blizzard conditions to save dozens of people are urging the public to nominate their own Highland heroes for a prestigious award.

The crew of Rescue 151, the Highlands' search and rescue helicopter, won last year's Emergency Services Award in the annual Highland Heroes competition.

The crew, who are based at Inverness Airport, picked up the illustrious honour after being nominated for their role in a host of call-outs – including the dramatic rescue of mountaineers caught out in horrendous conditions atop Ben Nevis in March 2022.

On that occasion Captain Rob Green, Captain Simon Hammock, Philip Caudle and Duncan Tripp were scrambled to reports that a 28-year-old male had fallen on the UK's highest peak.

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But it soon emerged that their task was an even more challenging one, with multiple people stranded on the mountain in the most savage of winter weather, which had already claimed one life.

By the time the emergency was over and they were able to return to base the team had helped in the rescue of 24 people in increasingly hostile conditions that included driving snow, gale-force winds and treacherous terrain.

And while risking life and limb to rescue others in peril is all part of the job, they added that the thanks and praise of a grateful public really does make a big difference.

Rescue 151 in action.
Rescue 151 in action.

They have urged the public to come forward with possible nominees for this year's award, with emergency service personnel, rescue teams and members of the armed forces in the Highlands and Moray all eligible for the honour.

Urging people to nominate their heroes, the Rescue 151 search and rescue team's Capt Rob Green, said: "It seems so easy to criticise and find fault with the world. However, a thank you and some praise really does go a long way and means so much to the person receiving it – it just takes a little effort."

He added that such recognition meant the world to his team when they realised they had been nominated last year.

"The Emergency Services award nomination came as a complete and very pleasant surprise. We all had a fantastic evening and felt extremely honoured to be a part of the occasion," he continued.

"We heard so many amazing stories on the night; all of the nominees were worthy winners and to know that they were all from our local community was wonderful! Winning our category was great; the award is proudly on display at the Base and recognises the work that our crews do throughout the year.

"Thank you to the person who nominated us, we really appreciate it."

To nominate your Highland Heroes go to www.hnmedia.co.uk/highlandheroes.

There are a range of categories, including Emergency Services Hero of the Year. Who will you choose to nominate?

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