Exercise with Casualty Union at City Airport Manchester

On Sunday 20th September 2009 (see news article dated the same), a small party from the team visited City Airport Manchester, primarily with regards to light aircraft crash rescue incidents.

Since this date, our Team Leader was approached by Nick Duriez, Operations Manager, at City Airport Manchester, with a view to an exercise being held at the airport.

After many emails confirming this exercise, this afternoon team members journeyed to City Airport Manchester (formerly Barton Airport) to take part in a major exercise with the Casualty Union and the Airport Fire and Rescue Service.

There follows below an account of our participation by team member Mark Scott.

Today nine callout team members led by Deputy Leader Geoff Seddon headed off in all four team landrovers and with the team’s control trailer in tow to City Airport Manchester (formerly Barton Airport) for a very special exercise indeed. At the airport, members of the Casualties Union were getting ready to give the team a real challenge. The Casualties Union specialise in using makeup techniques to create realistic-looking casualties for medical training purposes. This weekend was a training event for their members and we were to be a key part of that training. The idea was that we would deal with a large number of exercise casualties with a wide range of simulated injuries in all sorts of awkward places. The convoy of team vehicles turned up at the airport security gates and then the seemingly inevitable happened – the pagers went off, and soon the team were headed on blues and twos all the way back to Wilton Quarries off Scout Road, North of Bolton, where a rock climber had taken a very bad fall (see today’s incident report for the full story).

Once the fallen rock climber had been brought down from the quarry by the team and handed over to the NWAS ambulance waiting on Scout Road a quick phone call confirmed there was still time for us to head back to the airport to treat and rescue simulated casualties who were patiently waiting. Very soon team members were working in threes identifying the many exercise casualties and determining who were the priorities for treatment. With so many make believe casualties, we were grateful for the support of the Airport Fire and Rescue Service who joined in to help with extractions. One exercise casualty, an unconscious female, who we later learned was called Vicky, pretended to have sustained serious injuries as a result of a fall from height – ironically very similar to the case of the fallen climber the team had just been involved with for real!

It was hectic, challenging and exhilarating. What a fantastic training opportunity. We are so grateful to our friends in the Casualties Union for offering us this unique opportunity, and also to the City Airport staff for hosting the event and making us so welcome.

We look forward to working with the Casualties Union again soon, they are a great group of people with a remarkable and valuable set of skills. Talk about accident-prone!

The team wishes to express its thanks to Nick Duriez, Operations Manager for the airport, members of the Airport Fire and Rescue Service, and the Casualties Union (Manchester, Merseyside, Isle of Man, Lancashire, South Cumbria and Cheshire).