Incident 124/2006

Breaking the recent run of ’stood down responding’ calls came a call this morning in support of the North West Ambulance Service (Lancashire Locality)

Within minutes of our Team Leader routinely informing NWAS (LL) that the team was on exercise in the team area, NWAS (LL) Control contacted our Team Leader direct at circa 10:50 to request the help of the team in somewhat unusual circumstances.

A male had collapsed outside a residential address in the Chorley area, and due to his size and weight the responding ambulance crew, despite the arrival of another crew in support, both from Chorley Ambulance station, could not lift the male in question off the ground where he was lay, onto the ambulance stretcher trolley.

Although in a neighbouring team’s area, Ambulance Control requested our immediate assistance due to our declared availability and ability to make a quick response to the location of the incident.

Upon arrival on scene circa twenty minutes from receipt of call, we were faced with a very large and heavy male who had collapsed on the ground immediately outside his residential address, the responding ambulance crews not having any appropriate equipment to lift a casualty of this size.

Various specialist stretchers and other items carried on our responding team vehicles were offered to the ambulance crews, with the choice coming down to our specialist vacuum mattress, which in this particular case was used as a lifting sheet on account of its many carrying handles.

Very quickly from amongst the 12 Bolton MRT members who had responded, working with the four ambulance personnel on scene, the casualty was carefully lifted off the ground, onto the ambulance stretcher trolley and then lifted in to the back of the ambulance.

Leaving the scene at 11:28, 6 team members then accompanied the ambulance to Chorley Hospital, both to assist with getting the casualty out of the ambulance and into A&E, and to retrieve team kit items.

This type of incident clearly illustrates that in some accident scenarios the equipment in use and routinely carried on all our 4 Mountain Rescue vehicles (and indeed within other MRT’s as well) can be utilised with equal success off our usual moorland and mountain operating areas to bring help and appropriate ready assistance to our colleagues within the Ambulance Service.