A heroic Aberdeenshire Scout volunteer has received recognition after bravely assisting a group in distress on Ben Nevis, one of whom was injured.
Keith Millar, of the 1st Methlick Scout group, came across a small group of people in severe distress near the summit of Ben Nevis. One member of the group had been injured in a two metre fall.
Using the skills gained in the Scouts, Mr Millar calmly advised the group what to do and contacted the emergency services, giving them the grid reference, visibility and height.
He applied first aid to the injured person before assisting them to a sheltered location.
After stabilising the casualty, he descended back down the mountain to his own campsite for more equipment.
The rescue team arrived shortly after and Mr Millar helped the remaining members of the group venture down the mountain.
While helping the distressed group he managed to prevent more people heading for the summit running into difficulties.
Bravery in the face of danger
Mr Millar was nominated for an award by fellow volunteers after they heard of his heroics.
He was honoured with the Silver Cross, one of the highest accolades awarded to volunteers for acts of bravery in the face of danger.
It was recently presented to him by regional commissioner Dougie Simmers who explained the leader’s training and experience helped him stand out in this situation.
He said: “His calm demeanour, being prepared for all eventualities and practical skills enabled the rescue team to arrive via helicopter rather than walking in, saving at least three hours in rescue time, time which in turn saved at least two lives that day.
“He is a truly inspirational leader and shows his character in the face of adversity, Scouts prepared people with not only the skills for life to handle these situations but the values that stick with someone throughout their life.”
All Scouting members learn skills for life and the group has helped people throughout the pandemic by keeping active online.
In line with Scottish Government guidance, the Scouts are now returning to face-to-face activities.
North-east Scotland Scouts have launched a campaign to recruit new volunteers as the country opens up after lockdown.
Mr Millar said: “Scouting has always been and still is a massive part of my life with the historical and ongoing training in emergency aid and navigation in particular helping me throughout this situation.
“Scouting gives everyone the opportunity to learn different skills from first aid to mountaineering, while having fun at the same time and making memories that last a lifetime for both young people and adults.
“I could not recommend taking part enough.”