Incident 44/2009

At 21.32hrs this evening the team was paged by NWAS (Manchester) Emergency Control regards an incident in the Rivington Pike area. Answered by our Team Leader, Garry Rhodes MBE, he established that NWAS had a report of a young female giving cause for concern in the Pigeon Tower area of the Terraced Gardens at Rivington. At 21.39hrs a detailed full team call out message was paged, with NWAS Control supplying our Team Leader with more information about the response, which led to the team meeting initially at the Great House Barn car park, Rivington, at circa 22.00hrs.

Here the team met up with a responding NWAS (Manchester) Rapid Response Paramedic, a NWAS Emergency Ambulance and responding Greater Manchester Police Officers. As more information became known, under the direction of our Team Leader, all relocated to the Lower House car park area of Rivington, establishing a Control Point by 22.16hrs.

Lancashire Constabulary had also responded to this incident independently of the BMRT, GMP and NWAS response, and 4x of their officers had already deployed into the Terraced Gardens when we, NWAS and GMP arrived at Lower House.

By 22.28hrs all four of our Team Land Rover Ambulances and our Training officer in his 4WD vehicle deployed into the Terraced Gardens to commence a vehicle search of the track network leading up to the moorland fringe around the Pigeon Tower and Rivington Pike.
Three of our vehicles, besides team members on board also carried a GMP Officer, and the NWAS RRV Paramedic. The emergency ambulance crew and their vehicle remaining at the Control Point set up at Lower House, alongside other Bolton MRT members and our Team Leader who was now co ordinating the incident.

What had started off as a rescue had now turned into a search at dusk for the young woman involved, with NWAS and our Team Leader unable to establish contact with the original 999 caller.

At 22.41hrs team members came across a Lancashire Constabulary vehicle patrol who had just located the 18 years old woman involved, in the vicinity of the ’New Toilet Block’ on the edge of the Terraced Gardens. Casualty care was immediately commenced by the NWAS RRV Paramedic and our Team Doctor, Clare Whitney.

Whilst this was happening and totally unrelated to the circumstances surrounding the young woman, our Training Officer in his vehicle, at 22.49hrs came across three male youths requesting our immediate help in the Roynton Lane area of the Terraced Gardens. One of the youths aged 17, had fractured his arm after falling in the dark.

By 22.57hrs this youth had been quickly transported back down to the Lower House Car Park area in our Training Officers vehicle, and was assessed in the Emergency Ambulance originally called for the young woman. A second Ambulance was now mobilised by NWAS (Manchester) for the woman, this Ambulance being guided to Lower House by our BM4 vehicle which met this responding Ambulance on the outskirts of Horwich.

The two companions of the injured male youth were then given a lift to their homes in Leyland and Chorley by team member Andy Kench who lives in that general area.

By 23.32hrs, the woman, who was in a distressed state, had been brought back to the Lower House car park Control Point in a Lancashire Constabulary vehicle, with the NWAS Paramedic also with her, being guided in the dark through the Terraced Gardens by a Team Land Rover.

With the arrival of the second Emergency Ambulance both casualties were taken by NWAS to Royal Bolton Hospital, with both Emergency Ambulances having departed Lower House by 23.40hrs.

The team then relocated back to the Great House Barn car park, to collect members cars left there and to hold a ’hot debrief.’ This incident was finally concluded at 00.30hrs on the morning of Sunday 28th June.

As a footnote, after the second casualty was located, the Team and GMP Officers attending were made aware by a large number of youths in the Terraced Gardens, unconnected with the previous two incidents, that one of their number was missing in the dark. Thankfully his whereabouts were quickly established before a search was commenced.

Involved in this incident were the following resources ;

  • Bolton MRT, 22x team members, and our four Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulance vehicles.
  • North West Ambulance Service (Greater Manchester Area) ; HART / Rapid Response Vehicle, and two Emergency Ambulances.
  • North West Ambulance Service (Greater Manchester Area) Emergency Control Belle Vue.
  • Greater Manchester Police, three Officers in a car and a van, all from GMP Middlebrook Police Station.
  • Lancashire Constabulary, four Officers all from Chorley Police Station, in a van and a car.
  • Lancashire Constabulary Southern Communications Room.

During this incident the very warm and humid conditions resulted in all involved suffering very greatly from what can only be descibed as horrendous clouds of biting midges !