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Points of Light Award for Mario DiMaio

AMRT are proud to announce that forty three years of dedicated service both to Aberdeen and Scottish Mountain Rescue from Team member Mario Di Maio have been recognised by Prime Minister David Cameron in the Points of Light Award.

Mario joined AMRT as a keen seventeen year old and has served for 43 years, 19 of those as Team Leader.  When Mario joined ARMT their base was located in the garages at the back of St John’s Hospital in Albyn Lane and was a different base to the modern facilities that house the Team now in Westhill.  During these early years there were no written instructions, risk assessments or procedures in place. In time, Mario would be instrumental in creating a Team structure and protocols.

Mario’s early callouts in the 70s using poor fitting and basic equipment led him to introduce the “subsidy” to the Team. This meant that if nothing else, an operational Team member would be kitted out in enough gear to be “water and wind tight”. This is something that, even today, some of the Team members on a tighter budget are still thankful for.  Mario has, without a doubt, helped shape AMRT and when at the age of 23 he was elected to deputy Team leader his professionalism and expertise had been recognised by his peers.  

Mario was instrumental in encouraging the Order of St. John to help finance Mountain Rescue Teams in Scotland.  Indeed, Aberdeen was the first Team to have a purpose built headquarters, funded by the Order.  Mario’s input into this cannot be overestimated.

Mario has led, been involved and witnessed mountain rescue evolving since the 70s.  He has led by example and has always been there for a Team member should they need advice, guidance or just someone to talk to. He has been instrumental in moulding the Team into a professional, fit and very capable entity. Mario also recognised that the impact of modern life, family and employers on the volunteer rescuer had increased, but that they were still willing to give their time freely, so training was modified accordingly, as were attendance requirements.

Thankfully Mario continues be an active Team member and is on hand to share his experience and knowledge with the younger Team members and those who are now leading the Team.  Mario’s depth of knowledge of the Cairngorms and surrounding area is second to none and for him to pass this on to others is certainly a special gift.

Mario is undoubtedly a deserved recipient of the Points of Light award and we are delighted that his dedication over the years and commitment to the future of the Team has been suitably recognised.

Points of Light 2014 December Winners

BBC News Scotland


Photo: Linda DiMaio