A summary of the team in 2010…

Having completed our incident reporting for 2010, we’re mindful to note a number of interesting facts and figures, along with some items that made 2010 stand out for the team.

In total, 113 numbered incidents were recorded by the team this year , with a total of 138 distinct incidents attended making it our third busiest ever year – this increase being due to the 26 incidents attended by the team on January 5th 2010 (as a result of the snow causing a Major Incident declared by NWAS Manchester). These 26 incidents were recorded as one, 12/2010.

During this large scale, wide area deployment on January 5th 2010, the team was constantly active from 04:37 in the morning through to 17:40 in the evening; a most memorable day for those involved, with the assistance of Bolton MRT and of course many other MRTs surrounding the Manchester area earning considerable praise from Derek Cartwright, NWAS Director of Emergency Operations and Bob Williams, NWAS Deputy Chief Executive.

The team assisted NWAS further during the first half of January, with another 25 incidents attended directly due to the snowfall (as well as one standby for Yorkshire Ambulance Service, with vehicles holding at the M62 J.23, outside Halifax)

After a busy start to the year, February and March brought a much needed respite!

13 searches were attended through the year at the request of Greater Manchester Police and Lancashire Constabulary, and we were called out but stood down on another 8 searches. The largest search of the year came on Sunday 9th May, with 30 team members turning out to Queen’s Park, Bolton, to search for an elderly male who had gone missing from a local care home. Fortunately the man was found unharmed, albeit a considerable distance away from our search areas (in Astley Bridge), in the early hours of the morning.

The longest search (and longest incident of the year, aside from our prolonged assistance to NWAS on January 5th), was also in January, and spread over the first 2 days of the New Year. This saw the team searching for 8.5 hours on both days. Sadly the body of the missing man was found in Rivington Reservoir a short time later.

2010 saw a number of “firsts” for the team’s Water Search & Rescue Unit. The team’s brand new 3.5m semi-rigid inflatable boat, purchased in May of this year, was deployed on 4 incidents this year.

In October the WSRU swiftly located the body of a missing male in water at Brinsop Hall, Westhoughton. Just a few days after this, members of the WSRU were deployed on an urgent search in Gorton, Manchester, after an abandoned bicycle was found by the edge of a very fast flowing wide stream at Sunny Brow Park. 4 WSRU team members searched the stream by wading, but nothing was found.

Throughout 2010, the team was supported in a number of ways by its colleagues in the statutory emergency services; whether it be NWAS Manchester, who (amongst many other things) offered to replenish the team’s fuel supplies after the assistance provided through the winter months. Greater Manchester Police supported the team’s application to Ofcom to join the Airwave Sharer’s List. Working with NWAS Lancashire and other local MRTs (Rossendale & Pendle MRT and Bowland Pennine MRT), we agreed upon team area boundaries – complicated as they are in the South Lancashire area due to the convergence of the three team’s boundaries! High-level meetings were also held with Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service, to discuss how the team could support the service over the coming years.

We would like to thank all the emergency services we work alongside (control rooms, managers and road staff) including NWAS Manchester & NWAS Lancashire, Greater Manchester Police & Lancashire Constabulary, Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service and Lancashire Fire & Rescue Service, North West Air Ambulance (Helimed 08 & Helimed 72), RAF ’C’ Flight 22sqn RAF Valley, and other MRTs & SRTs.

Of course we must also mention the fantastic assistance provided by members of the public on a number of incidents this year, whether it be simply guiding our vehicles in to an RV point, or carrying rescue equipment from the road to the scene of many accidents.

Let’s hope that the team continues to go from strength to strength in 2011!