Incident 92/2006

During a GMAS peak demand assist period, whilst the team had 4 vehicles committed to assisting GMAS, the team received a call at 23:12 from GMAS Paramedic Emergency Control, regarding a 999 caller who reported to Ambulance Control that he was in the Haigh Hall Plantations area, and had suffered a serious leg injury whilst out walking his dog.

Our Team Landrover BM2, which was in the immediate vicinity, having dealt with a call in the Wigan area, was immediately despatched with other team vehicles being redirected from GMAS peak demand assist duties, and a full team callout page being sent at 23:27.

There were initial difficulties with getting an RVP for our members to assemble at, due to the 999 caller being unaware of his exact location in order to guide in rescuers.

In very close liaison and in constant communications with GMAS PEC, team vehicles were despatched to a number of points in the extensive Haigh Hall Plantations area, with the main entrance directly opposite the Royal Albert Wigan Hospital becoming the focus of the incident response.

Team members at the RVP prepare a stretcher for the casualty

GMAS PEC were in constant touch (via mobile phone) with the informant, but still had difficulty pinpointing his exact location. A quick search was commenced by the crew of BM2 in the dense and extensive wooded area, and in a joint effort between the team and GMAS control, the man was located. He had suffered a fall earlier in the night and had dragged himself along the ground, presumably in an attempt to get a clearer mobile phone signal. He was suffering from the minor effects of alcohol, and a suspected lower leg fracture, which was causing him great pain.

Besides treating the 30 year old man involved, the team also had to give consideration to his dog, which had sat alongside the man since the accident and was clearly nervous with the rescue party around. Also, the man involved was agitated and concerned for the well-being of his obviously beloved pet dog.

Team member Louise Jorgensen looks after the casualtys dog whilst he is loaded onto the stretcher

The man’s injury was treated with a vacuum splint, with Entonox painkilling gas being available for self-administration by the casualty.

In what we believe is a possible UK first for a mountain rescue team, and is certainly a first for this team, the closeness of the Royal Albert Hospital, Wigan to our team vehicle RV point (a matter of 300m away) where we stretcher evacuated the injured man towards, meant that rather than transferring the injured man to an ambulance for a short journey across the road to the hospital A&E, we simply carried on with the stretcher evacuation direct into the Accident and Emergency Department of Wigan Hospital.

The sight of a Mountain Rescue stretcher party greeted the forewarned A&E staff at Wigan, and created quite a stir as the casualty was carried on our Mountain Rescue stretcher for a direct transfer to the examination cubicle.

Patiently waiting to be “booked in” by the admin staff at Wigan A&E!

Carried directly into Wigan A&E, a first for the team!

And the fate of the man’s dog? Well, the team contacted the man’s brother who got a taxi to our RV point, and team member Louise Jorgensen then drove the man with his brother’s dog (Jessie) back to their home. A very late finish saw this incident concluding at our base as 02:00 in the morning.

A banner advertising a local event seems to sum up the evening’s proceedings quite well!