Mick Doherty – Chair

Mick joined the Fire Service in 1975 following a short career in the Insurance industry as an underwriting clerk with an Insurance Broker then latterly with Sun Alliance and London Insurance Company. A keen mountaineer and outdoor enthusiast spent much of his spare time as volunteer with his local Mountain Rescue Team in the Preston area of the North West (Northern Rescue Organisation)   First posting to Preston Fire Station followed his recruit course at Washington Hall Chorley; he progressed through the service for 32 years culminating as a Station Manager at Leyland and Bamber Bridge Fire Stations. During this time he expanded his international interest in Rescue work by getting involved in a post earthquake mission to Armenia in 1990. A Lancashire initiative to transport three flat pack houses by air and land via Moscow down to Armenia where the Team built and handed over the new homes to three Families who had been made homeless as a result of the earthquake.   In 1991 Mick was chosen to lead a small Team from Lancashire in the fire service mission to Northern Iraq (Operation Safe Haven) which was a joint humanitarian project to assist the Allied Forces in rescuing the Iraqi Kurdish population who had fled towards the Turkish Border fleeing from the aggressors of Saddam Hussains military Forces.   On his return, together with other volunteers  he was asked to formulate the Lancashire Unit of the newly formed United kingdom Fire Service Search And Rescue Team (UKFSSART) This Team still operates today and is now known as International Search and Rescue (ISAR) Mick was awarded the British Empire Medal for his Teams work in Iraq. He gained much experience in Training and Mobilising for natural and manmade disasters.   In order to extend his Teams expertise he teamed up with Steve Owen Hughes in 1994 where the vision of SOH inspired the formulation of the Charity to be formerly registered with the Charities Commission and to be known as “Operation Florian”. The name was adopted from the Patron Saint of Firefighters in Europe.   The rest is history, and this is the second time Mick has been Chairman in the history of the Charity.   “I am so proud of the achievements we have collectively delivered over so many years, in so many places, to so many people. There appears To be no sign of a lull in the future either, so keep well fed and rested”   Michael A Doherty BEM GIFE Chairman Operation Florian