8th December 2010 MOUNTAIN RESCUE TEAM MEMBER RECEIVES BRAVERY AWARD
MOUNTAIN RESCUE TEAM MEMBER RECEIVES BRAVERY AWARD
A mountain rescue volunteer from County Durham received a bravery award today ( Wednesday) for the rescue of a man from the River Wear in Durham City. Dave Wigham, 46, a teacher from Ferryhill and a member of Teesdale & Weardale Search and Mountain Rescue Team (TWSMRT) had just finished watching his son kayaking on the River Wear in August 2009 when he saw group of rowers trying to support the body of a man in the water near the opposite bank. The man was face down and his head kept going under. Off duty police officer and scout leader Ian Dickinson who was with Dave immediately called the emergency services and ran downstream to use a bridge to get to the far bank.
Dave said "I realised the man needed urgent assistance so I decided to swim across to help him. I had recently been trained as a swiftwater rescue technician within the team so was happy this was within my capabilities".
When Dave got to the casualty a quick assessment suggested he was still alive. Because of the steepness of the river banks at this point in the river he decided the best way to get him out was to swim with the current downstream. After about 100m a police officer through a life belt which was put round the casualty. "This made it a bit easier to support the casualty as we swam and floated about 400m downstream. I was then able to drag him over towards the steps at Baths Bridge where I was pleased to be able to hand him over to paramedics".
Dave was presented with the Royal Humane Society, Testimonial on Parchment, by John Stoddart Durham Chief Constable at Police HQ today. After the ceremony Dave said "Because of my training within the Rescue Team I was confident I could assist this man without putting myself or anyone else in much danger. It is wonderful to be able to put my training to good use and for there to be such a positive outcome".
TWSMRT Team Leader Chris Roberts said "We are all very proud of Dave, what he did embodies the true spirit of Mountain Rescue".
Photographs - Chief Constable John Stoddart presents Dave Wigham with the award
Notes For Editor Teesdale
& Weardale Search & Mountain Rescue Team are affiliated to the "Mountain
Rescue - England and Wales". We provide a Search and Rescue service throughout
County Durham and beyond primarily for the Police but also for the other emergency
services. All Team members are volunteers and we rely on monies raised by ourselves
as a registered charity to run the Team. Further details regarding our latest
callouts and Team information can be found on our website www.twsmrt.org.uk