Incident 116/2006

At 14.26 hrs the Team was contacted by Lancashire Constabulary on behalf of the North West Ambulance Service (Lancashire locality) to provide assistance with the report of an injured diver at a flooded quarry working. This incident was actually within the operational area of our colleagues at Bowland Pennine MRT, and our Team Leader in liaison with LAS A&E control passed the call immediately over to BPMRT via LAS. (in the interim subject to confirmation that BPMRT could indeed attend a pager call was sent to all BMRT members to continue making their way to our LBH base initial RVP)

At circa 14.39 LAS contacted our Team Leader direct to request the team, as it had been established that BPMRT had asked for us to continue with our initial response.

At 14.41hrs a full team page was sent, resulting in an immediate response by our four team vehicles and 17 team members. Our Team Leader and first responding team vehicle arrived jointly at the East Quarry, Appley Bridge, South Lancashire, location at 15.15hrs, meeting the aircrew from the North West Air Ambulance, Helimed 08 which had landed in nearby fields. A youth had suffered suspected spinal injuries jumping from the quarry top into the flooded quarry workings, a vertical drop estimated to be in the region of 70 feet plus!

The casualty on the Ambulance Long board at the top of the quarry where we met the LAS and Helimed crew, immediately behind the Ambulance Crew, Helimed Crew and team members is a sheer 70 feet direct drop ! Note our members are wearing PFDs (Personal Flotation Devices / Life jackets) due to the potential (which didn’t materialise) of having to work close to or above water on this incident.

He had managed to get part way back up to the top, and was then carried a further short distance by the responding LAS Emergency Ambulance crew, but the very dense vegetation and almost pathless nature of the top of the quarry necessitated our assistance in carrying the youth to the Ambulance.

Given the very hot (27C) and muggy nature of the day, combined with trying to get the casualty who by now was on an Ambulance Long Board and Head Blocks, itself on our Bell Stretcher, made for a difficult (albeit) short carry to the waiting Ambulance, through a dense tangled mat of low tree branches, dusty soil that got everywhere, brambles, nettles and other nasties guaranteed to make even the most mild mannered team member curse. Because of the potentially serious nature of the male youths possible injury, it was then decided that the Ambulance would transfer the casualty by road the short distance to the field where the NWAA Helimed 08 had landed, transfer him to the helicopter and fly him direct to Preston Hospital.

The team then further assisted by carrying the casualty the short distance from the Ambulance to the Helicopter, negotiating along the way a barbed wire fence.
At 16.04 Helimed lifted off with the youth for the very quick flight direct to Preston Hospital which has a helipad almost directly outside the A&E Unit.
Thankfully now that the incident was over, (but we still had to pack away kit used) a passing thunderstorm decided to shed its entire rain cloud content directly onto us. (well it seemed so at the time)

The casualty is safely on board Helimed 08 (note the side loading position on the new aircraft, much better than the restricted rear only loading of the old Bolkow model it replaced) whilst team members pack away our Bell Stretcher.

Thus ended another Call Out (our 44th full team call out of the year, our 116th actual separate incident of the year) for the team.