Incident 85/2007

At 18.02 Hrs, the Team was contacted by Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service, regarding a large moorland fire in the area of Belmont Village, being jointly attended by GMFRS and Lancashire Fire & Rescue Service.

A Full Team Call Out message was paged shortly afterwards, requesting available members to assemble at our Ladybridge Hall HQ. In all 19 Team members responded to the message and assembled at our base to await deployment. Our involvement in the fire was one which we have a Pre Determined Attendance agreement with GMF&RS, it is not from a firefighting aspect but from a health and safety aspect. Our role for the evening was to provide transport to fire fighting teams, Rescue Cover and spot pick up crews in case of an injury to a fire fighter on the moors.

Bolton MRT & GMF&RS Control Point.

A secondary role we played, was providing expert local knowledge at the Fire Service Control Point, such as how to get onto the moorland and local area familiarity. One of our members & current Training Officer Andy Ryding, was also present as part of his day job, as part of the United Utilites Fireplan. Andy was able to help both GMF&RS & Lancashire Fire & Rescue Service with excellent local area knowledge.

The realtime display of the location of GMF&RS appliances. Our Communication Officer, Dave Healey, gets more ideas for the Team

A major role of the evening was to transport Fire Fighters to the actual fire head, together with their equipment. Such dramatic scenes as the one below were witnessed during the night.

Firefighters, attempt to stop the advancement of the moorland fire.

The total resources available for this incident included the full compliment of Bolton MRT’s vehicles and trailers (as we also provided catering for our own personnel and the NWAS Ambulance crew also on scene), at least 5 Lancashire Pumps, at least 5 Greater Manchester Pumps, Mobile Control Units from both brigades, Salvation Army/Lancs Fire & Rescue Catering, United Utilities employees and numerous senior Fire Officers from both Fire Services.

With the light fading, the BMRT Brew Shop is running at full steam.

Thankfully our primary search & rescue role was not required, but the other roles were used to their fullest. The moorland was still smoking away four days later and a very large area had been engulfed by the fire. One thing which was engulfed by the fire was Andy Ryding’s pager, which he had lost after removing some fencing to allow the Pinzgauer (a 6 wheel drive all terrain fire appliance) access to the moors. But, being the expert navigator than Andy is, he returned to the scene retraced his steps and found his melted pager in the area he thought it was lost in !!