Incident 29/2007

At 14:59 this afternoon, NWAS (Lancashire Area) control contacted our Team Leader direct to request the team’s assistance with the report of a person collapsed in the Roddlesworth area. Ambulance Control had also despatched Helimed 08 and an ambulance to the incident.

It subsequently transpired that a young girl out walking with her father (both local, and both well equipped for the conditions) had collapsed in the Stepback Brook area on the lower slopes of Darwen Moor.

A passing party of 4 hill walkers were able to offer immediate assistance to the 10 year old girl and her father, and also offered to look after their two dogs.

Two team vehicles coincidentally in the Rivington and Belmont areas were immediately despatched to the incident following a full team pager callout also at 14:59.

Quite often good fortune occurs on incidents, in this case besides the helpful intervention of the passing hillwalkers, one of our team members, Gyles Denn was also out dog walking very nearby along with his wife. In response to the pager message, within minutes they were also at the incident location and also rendered assistance.

Because the girl had collapsed on a moorland track (accessible via 4 wheel drive vehicles), our first responding vehicle BM3 was able to access the casualty site almost directly, being joined very shortly afterwards by a paramedic crew member from the NWAA Helimed 08 which had landed on the edge of the wooded stream where the girl was.

Our second responding vehicle was also soon on scene and the Helimed crew decided it was best to evacuate the young girl and her father directly in our vehicles back to the roadside rendezvous point where a NWAS emergency ambulance was waiting.

At 15:43 the ambulance departed with the young girl and her father for Blackburn Hospital.

We would like to make special mention of the passing group of 4 hillwalkers, 2 men and 2 women, who so readily rendered help and assistance to the father and his daughter, and then went on to bring their two dogs back to the roadside, allowing our team members and the Helimed crew to get on with their jobs.

At the conclusion of this incident, the “missing vehicle key” gremlin struck, as the gremlin always does when it’s wet, muddy and about to go dark. An hour’s search of the muddy moorland track revealed nothing, nor did a search of the insides of BM1 and BM3. A more thorough search back at our (lit) base saw the gremlin having the last laugh on us, when the missing keys were plain for all to see on top of the rucksacks in the rear of the motor (these things happen!).

An article in the Blackburn Citizen followed on the following Tuesday, click here to read it!