I.S.A.C. Course., Cheshire FRS, Winsford

Today three Trainee Team members John Dickinson, Paul Copley and Paul Chisholm, journeyed to Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service’s HQ and Training School at Sadler Road, Winsford, to take part in an Incident Safety Assessment and Control (ISAC) course, organised and facilitated by ATACC (Anaesthesia Trauma and Critical Care) and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service.

This is the fifth time team members have participated in this excellent course, the first being 19th November 2009, when our Team Doctor, Clare Whitney and Steve Nelson attended, with the second being on 22nd April 2010, when our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE and Team Call Out list member (and Regional MR Water Officer) Fred Taylor attended, the third when very experienced Team Call Out list member Chris Tennant and Trainee Team member Nick Berry attended on 15th July 2010 and the fourth when our Training Officer Elaine Gilliland, and team Call Out list members John Fletcher and Paul Brain attended on 25th November 2010.

Team Call Out list member Alistair Greenough, who in full time employment is an Accident and Emergency Nurse at Warrington Hospital, is an instructor on this excellent recognised course.

The ISAC course concentrates on incident scene safety, the safety of the emergency responders, increasing incident scene awareness and multi agency working.

John, Paul and Paul, would like to thank all the lecturers and helpers, and also their fellow emergency services colleagues on the course for welcoming them so openly. Thanks also to Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service for providing such excellent facilities; all Bolton MRT members found it a very enjoyable and highly informative day.



A special thanks also to Alistair Greenough in arranging and continuing to permit members of Bolton Mountain Rescue to attend this course.

Please also see website news articles dated 19th November 2009, 22nd April 2010, 15th July 2010 and 25th November 2010.

The following is an account of the day by Trainee Team Member Paul Copley;

On Thursday 12th May, Paul Copley,Paul Chisolm, John Dickinson and Donna Peel (Sister of Paul Chisholm and a Student NWAS Paramedic) who has recently been helping out with our casualty care course, left our Bolton Fire Station Garage / Base at the early time of 07.00hrs in our ’BM4’ Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulance for an 08:30hrs start at Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service’s HQ and Training Centre, in Winsford. This was to take part in an Incident Safety Assessment and Control (ISAC) Course.

Other students on the course included our friends from Cheshire Search & Rescue Team, Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service personnel, as well as a number of Nurses, Doctors and healthcare professionals from across the region.

The day started with course instructor Mark Forest outlining what to expect on the day, which was concerned with raising awareness of hazards when attending incidents, taking a full 360 view of the scene.

  1. Personal safety – look after yourself
  2. Team safety – look after the other members of your team
  3. Equipment safety – this is equipment the rescue relies on, either for personal, team or casualty safety, so needs looking after
  4. Finally casualty safety – once the first three items are considered safe, only then start worrying about the casualty

We were then shown numerous slides of incidents and were asked what we could see from the initial slides and then we got see a 360 view and then re-access what we could actually see.

Then there was a brief outline of what the course was about and why it was important from our own Alistair Greenough.

Alistair was followed by Dr Dave Wilson, a Consultant in Emergency Medicine at Wrexham Hospital, who outlined the importance of the course.

Before Lunch we were given a taster of what we were going to be doing after lunch by being split into 3 groups each were then taken to small exercise.

All delegates were asked to wear the personal protective equipment they would normally wear. Our Mountain Rescue bright red overalls were displayed against the nurses all-in-one orange jumpsuits, with each team’s equipment being appropriate to their likely working situation. Each team also demonstrated the equipment which is carried to an incident.

After lunch there were a series of round-robin exercises, with the emphasis being on safety awareness.

Accessing an unlit, noisy garage (radio blaring) and identifying the dangers which are present is difficult in such a littered environment with an (Exercise) female casualty screaming (alarmingly realistic) but she was initially not to be seen.

The Fire Service also demonstrated how they take the roof off a car and how dangerous air bags can be if they go off when a rescuer is in the vehicle, they also showed how to make air bags safe just in case there is a secondary bag which a number of new cars now have and how to extract casualties with suspected spinal injuries from a vehicle.

Other exercises included extracting two people from a car, one located in the rear seat and one in the drivers seat. Another similar exercise involving a car and tanker with two casualties again, and finally one with a HGV and pedestrian, all involved the subsequent decisions that need to be made in prioritising which casualty needs to be extracted first.

The key to all the exercises was your own safety, communication and team work between all the parties involved.

The day was very successful in promoting respect for the different emergency services involved. The health care professionals appreciated that if a casualty is presented to A&E in an untidy state, the rescue team may have had considerable difficulty in getting the casualty to the hospital in the first place.

Paul, Paul John and Donna would like to thank all the lecturers and helpers, and also their fellow Emergency Services colleagues on the course for welcoming them so openly. Thanks also to Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service for providing such excellent facilities; all Bolton MRT members found it a very enjoyable and highly informative day – The heavy rain showers did help make the tasks much more realistic!

A special thanks also to Alistair Greenough in arranging and continuing to permit members of Bolton Mountain Rescue to attend this course.

We would recommend if you have not been on the ISAC course and you get the chance to go please do so, it is a fantastic day and all four of us found the course to be exceptional and we got a lot from fully participating.

Footnote for John Dickinson the road rules in Cheshire are the same as Lancashire and Greater Manchester when approaching a roundabout you slow down !!!!!!!!