A volunteer who has dedicated nearly 1,500 hours to assisting police in search operations has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM).
Brian Jackson has been recognised for his services to the community of Leicestershire in the first New Year Honours list since King Charles III became monarch.
As one of the founding member of Leicestershire Search & Rescue (LeicSAR), Brian has spent almost a decade working alongside Leicestershire Police and other emergency services to help in locating vulnerable and missing people.
At the age of 75, Brian, who lives in Whetstone, Leicestershire, is also their oldest serving member.
Since 2015, volunteers working for the charity have also been recognised as part of the force’s Volunteers in Police programme and in the last seven years Brian has recorded 1,434 hours of volunteering with the police alone - deploying to more than 65 incidents across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
Last year he volunteered more than 100 hours of his time to assist in police searches, as well as helping the ambulance service in locating and recovering an injured person in Bradgate Park.
He is one of more than 60 highly trained volunteers who are on standby to assist the emergency services when called.
Sergeant Chris Haines, the force’s search co-ordinator, said: “Brian has been a vital part of LeicSAR for nearly 10 years and is always one of the first to arrive when we require their assistance – whatever the time, day or weather conditions.
“Along with the rest of the team, he selflessly gives up his own time to help people in a crisis and it is very much a joint effort when it comes to saving lives and helping to reunite families with a loved one who has gone missing.
“The force is tremendously grateful for all they do and we congratulate Brian on his well-deserved accolade.”
Alongside his work with the force, the has also spent almost 40 years volunteering as part of the Duke of Edinburgh Award - supporting and empowering hundreds of younger people to gain and develop valuable life skills.
He also works as a Community First Responder for the East Midlands Ambulance Service and during the Covid-19 pandemic he volunteered to assist in the vaccine rollout programme, helping to marshal thousands of people through the vaccine process.
Even now he continues to support the vaccination effort and has recently trained as a vaccinator – spending multiple days a week helping to immunise some of the most vulnerable people across Leicestershire.
Following the news of his award, Brian said: “I was very surprised when I was told I was going to be awarded an BEM and feel extremely humbled. I have been overwhelmed with the amount of people who have sent messages to congratulate me and I wish to thank everyone for their kind words.”
Nick Canham, Chair of LeicSAR, said: “The whole team are delighted that Brian has been recognised in the New Year Honours. He is a valuable and dedicated member of LeicSAR.
“It's incredible that he has volunteering for over 30 years for the community of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland - helping and supporting those that are most vulnerable.”