Incident 111/2010

The team traditionally goes out in to our operational area on Boxing Day afternoon, and today with seventeen Call Out list members / Probationary members present, we decided to take advantage of the snow on the hills, and with no calls on the team, we all met at the base of Rivington Pike and spent a fun afternoon sledging on the (very!) steep parts of Rivington Pike itself.

One of our old basket stretchers made an excellent sledge, with members of the public begging us to have a go on it (and a fun time they had too), all seventeen members present survived the afternoons sledging unscathed including our Team Leader on his Plastic “It’s been in the family for donkeys years” ’Turbo Sledge.’

On the descent back from Rivington Pike to our four team vehicles, team member, 21 year old Matthew Hailwood couldn’t resist one last sledge ride down, unfortunately he also couldn’t miss the vertical drop in front of him, and he very quickly became our fifth sledging incident since Saturday 18th December 2010!


Happening at 15.10hrs in very cold minus four temperatures, and with limited daylight left, we immediately requested an Emergency Ambulance from NWAS (Manchester) Control and also requested, if available, the NWAA Helimed.

In considerable pain, Matthew had suffered a potentially serious lower back injury, and was given Entonox pain killing gas, whilst we stretcher evacuated him lower down the hill and awaited the arrival of Helimed 08.

At circa 15.53hrs in rapidly failing light, the NWAA Air Ambulance Helicopter ’Helimed 08’ managed to land almost next to Matthew, in the vicinity of the ’New Toilet Block’ on Georges Lane at the base of Rivington Pike.

A quick handover to the Helimed crew, saw ’Helimed 08’ take off at 16.04hrs for a short five minute flight to Preston Royal Infirmary.


Matthew spent some hours in Royal Preston, being X rayed and examined, thankfully with the diagnosis of nothing serious other than very severe and painful bruising.

He was released from hospital later the same evening, being collected by his relieved parents. (Matthew has only just recovered from a fractured wrist!)

The team would like to thanks NWAS (Manchester) Control for their help with this incident, the crew of the NWAS (Manchester) Emergency Ambulance on standby if Helimed could not have attended, and the pilot and crew of the NWAA ’Helimed 08’ who kindly flew in to assist us with ’one of our own.’