Mike Park MBE has been elected as the new Senior Executive Officer (SEO) of Mountain Rescue England and Wales following the charity’s online AGM.
The SEO role leads the national mountain rescue organisation, supported by an Operations Director (Mike Margeson MBE), Liaison Officer (Mike France MBE), President (Ray Griffiths MBE) and Chair of Trustees (Jake Bharier), and is elected by the 47 teams across the country.
Mike, who is based in Cockermouth in Cumbria, says, “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.”
Mike joined Cockermouth Mountain Rescue Team in Cumbria when he was just 18 and he has held various positions of responsibility within that 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 (CLRF) on behalf of LDSAMRA for several years. He is a member of the MREW SAR-H (Helicopter) Group and was the lead on this 2018–2020. Mike was awarded an MBE for Services to Mountain Rescue in 2011.
All these roles are on a voluntary basis and, as his day job, Mike works for Sellafield Ltd Strategy & Planning, where he is the Spatial Planning Lead, taking on responsibility for Situational Awareness & Intelligence COVID-19 Pandemic during 2020.
Mike Margeson OBE has been acting SEO for the past year. He says, “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 MR.”