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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

K9 Search and Rescue NI Team Leader Ryan Gray scoops four awards!

K9 Search and Rescue NI Team Leader, Ryan Gray, has recently been recognised with four awards in the Veterans Awards NI for his work with the vital lifesaving organisation.

The 2022 Northern Ireland Veterans Awards were held on Wednesday evening, 26 October, in Stormont Hotel, Belfast, to recognise the amazing contribution made by Northern Ireland Veterans across business, fitness, sport and in the wider community.

The awards event was established to honour the huge number of highly successful Armed Forces Veterans that have made the transition from the Military to civilian, in a bid to highlight their achievements and success, as well as rewarding the veterans who have gone above and beyond, and excelled in their relevant fields.

Ryan pictured during his time serving in the military.

Ryan was nominated for Role Model of the Year, The Community Awards, Inspiration of the Year Award, and Volunteer of the Year, and won Role Model of the Year. The dedicated search and rescue technician also received bronze in the other three categories, recognising his work with K9 Search and Rescue NI.

Following the prestigious awards ceremony, Northern Ireland’s Veteran Commissioner Danny Kinahan said:

“What an amazing night at the Veterans Awards NI supported and attended by Johnny Mercer MP and Cabinet Minister for Veterans Affairs.

"My office had the honour to sponsor the Role Model of the Year category, to which several very worthy veterans were nominated.

"Congratulations to Ryan Gray of K9 Search & Rescue NI who won last nights award, and to Andrew Harney and Robert Maxwell who came runner up.

Pictured receiving Ryan’s award from NI Veterans Commissioner Danny Kinahan is Dog Handler James McMordie, also a veteran.

"K9 Search and Rescue are instrumental in the recovery of persons in emergency situations, most recently being involved in the search and rescue operation at the Creeslough petrol station in Donegal. This service brings hope to the families of missing persons and to those who are found, an important and often life saving capability.

"I would like to thank Jason Gilliard for his infectious enthusiasm that brought these awards to life. The supporting organisers, sponsors, and to all those who attended and support veterans in every capacity.

"Last night really showed the best of the veteran community and I hope that more positivity surrounding the contributions of NI veterans is acknowledged and celebrated. Inspirational people doing inspirational things.”

Ryan pictured in his work with K9 Search & Rescue NI

Team Leader Ryan Gray said:

“To win the very first Veterans Award for Role Model of the year makes me incredibly proud. This award would not be possible without the dedication of all our team members and their dedication in finding missing people. I would like to also recognise the sacrifices that team member's families make.”

CLICK HERE to find out more about K9 Search & Rescue NI.


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