What a great way to spend a Wednesday evening!

The team makes regular use of exercise casualties on our regular Wednesday night training sessions, sometimes these willing volunteers are known to us all, sometimes it’s a less familiar face, acting out the role of a “casualty”, and sometimes it’s an unknown face. This Wednesday we were able to show “DT”, a very generous sponsor of the team, exactly what we get upto on a “Rescue”, when “DT” offered to play out the part of an exercise casualty. There follows an account of his night with the team, which took place on the steep sided North escarpment of Winter Hill….. his account of the evening follows…..

As a regular visitor to the Bolton Mountain Rescue Team website I have read many accounts of what you are called to deal with, from missing persons, road accidents, water side searches, spot pick-ups etc., so when I was invited to take part in an exercise I knew what to expect, or so I thought.

It started off easily, a warm evening; gentle incline on slightly marshy ground, my only concern was keeping my new boots from getting too muddy. After about ten minutes we took a breather to admire the view. As the terrain got steeper more stops were required by me to admire the view and rest a pair of legs that had suddenly doubled in weight and developed their own sense of direction. Eventually we reached our designated area and had a well deserved cup of tea, and planned what my injuries were to be.

As the light faded the team set out to rescue me, now time to get into position, leg wedged in large crack in the rocks, right arm twisted under my back. Eventually the rescuers arrived and began the task of evacuating me to safety.

What I hadn’t expected was just how thorough the injury assessments were. I was suddenly in a situation where everything that happened was in an ordered and structured way – I had no control whatsoever.

Eventually I was loaded onto a stretcher and wrapped up securely ready for the descent. This is when the professionalism of the team really struck me, the swap overs were done with military precision, and the carry down was a lot smoother than I had expected it to be.

I could hear feet squelching through the boggy ground, and for a moment I felt guilty about being dry and warm, but that moment soon passed.

With the exercise over, Landrovers loaded, time for a well deserved pint at the local pub…..

I would like to thank all involved, and I really do appreciate all the effort which went into my “rescue”.

“DT” had the following to say about Team member (and Fundraising Officer) Mark Dooley, who acted as escort onto the moor for the exercise….
Mark Dooley was an excellent “minder” – didn’t complain about my rather slow walking pace, didn’t complain about me stopping to admire the view every ten steps as it got steeper, produced a waterproof sheet for me to sit on so I didn’t get wet. When the midges arrived he had midge repellent, as I got thirsty a flask of steaming hot tea was produced, my only slight niggle…. a large slice of chocolate cake would have gone down a treat!