Incident 49/2011

At circa 17.11hrs this evening, NWAS (Lancashire) Emergency Control Centre, received a 999 call from two hill walkers on Winter Hill, one of whom had suffered a very painful lower back / hip injury after stumbling over a moorland grass tussock.

Mobile phone reception between the hill walkers and NWAS could not initially be re-established, with NWAS (Lancashire) dispatching an Emergency Ambulance, to the general Winter Hill area. Due to other emergency commitments, the North West Air Ambulance was unavailable at the time, and at 17.20hrs we received a pager request from NWAS (Lancashire) to contact them regarding the immediate assistance of the team.

Answered by our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE, contact at this stage with the casualty was still not possible, and our Team Leader discussed with the ’Airdesk Despatcher’ at NWAS (Lancashire) ECC options for an Emergency VehiclesRVP and initial thoughts on where to search for the casualty site.

Team members were paged at 17.27hrs to RVP initially at our Ladybridge Hall Base / HQ., with members quickly arriving here.

In the meantime our Deputy Team Leader Geoff Seddon was intending to go to Winter Hill summit, and team member Mike Marsh was directed to Hordern Stoops, as our Team Leader and Deputy Team Leader started to consider how best to locate the casualty and his companion.

The Lancashire Constabulary Air Support Unit helicopter, ON99, meets with the Bolton MRT vehicles.
At 17.35hrs our Team Leader received the information from NWAS (Lancashire) ECC (Airdesk) that the two walkers had set off from Scout Road and Coal Pit Road, to head up onto Winter Hill, and they were somewhere in this general area, also that Lancashire Constabulary Air Support Unit helicopter, ’Oscar November 99,’ had also been called out by NWAS to try and locate the casualty site.

By circa 17.40hrs, team members were redirected via pager to Coal Pit Road, where the track to WinterHillvia Smithills Shooting Hut starts.

Team member Mark Scott meanwhile commenced a quick path search from the start of the Winter Hill Transmitter station road across to Smithills Shooting hut to locate the casualty site. Our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE, joint with Mike Marsh (Who had been redirected from Hordern Stoops) then arrived as the first MRT members at the Coal Pit Road RVP, followed by the NWAS Emergency Ambulance, other team members and our BM2 vehicle.

The vehicles RVP on Coal Pit Road
Arriving here at circa 17.55hrs, they received news at 18.00hrs from Mark Scott that he had located the casualty site, on trackless moorland on Smithills Moor, to the north of the north west tip of Holdens Plantation, with all the responding emergency vehicles now relocating to Holdens Farm. The Lancashire Constabulary ASU helicopter ’Oscar November 99’ also arrived at this time and hovered overhead of Mark Scott, the 29 years old male casualty from Astley Bridge, Bolton and his male walking companion from Heaton, Bolton.

Additional team members and NWAS emergency ambulance crew make their way along the moor to the casualty site
Our Team Leader requested that ON99 land near to the vehicles RVP and airlift up essential medical equipmentrequested by Mark Scott on scene with the casualty.

By 18.15hrs the helicopter had landed near to the casualty site, off loading the requested medical kit and an NWAS Paramedic.

At 18.18hrs, seven other Bolton MRTmembers now arrived at the casualty site with further equipment, as casualty care progressed with the injured man.

Evacuation continues aling the moor

Further evacuation along Smithills Moor
For his very painful lower back / hip injury, two powerful pain killing drugs were administered, alongside pain killing gas.

With no Helimed available at this immediate time, it was decided to stretcher evacuate the man back to the Emergency Ambulance at Holdens Farm, with a further fifteen Bolton MRT members being sent from the RVP at Holdens Farm at 18.38hrs.

Team members complete the evacuation of the casualty back to the roadhead RVP
By 19.17hrs, the casualty had been stretcher evacuated on an Alpine Lite Mountain Rescue Stretcher back to Holdens Farm, with the Emergency Ambulance departing for Royal Bolton Hospital at circa 19.30hrs.

The following resources were directly involved in this incident:

  • North West Ambulance Service (Lancashire): Emergency Control Centre Air Desk, Emergency Ambulance from Chorley Ambulance Station with three person crew, (Paramedic, Student Paramedic, Technician)
  • Lancashire Constabulary Air Support Unit helicopter, ’Oscar November 99, from BAE Systems Warton Aerodrome.
  • Lancashire Constabulary Force Incident Managers Office.
  • Bolton Mountain Rescue Team: Three Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulance vehicles, BM2, BM3 and BM4, our Minbus BM5, and twenty six team members. One further team member was stood down responding.

This incident was yet another excellent example of our Team, NWAS (Lancashire) and Lancashire Constabulary working very closely together to achieve a successful rescue and casualty recovery. The thanks of the team andNWAS (Lancashire) are expressed to the owners of Holdens Farm, for allowing team vehicles and the Emergency Ambulance to initially park in the farm yard. As an aside to this incident, given the voluntary nature of our team, a large number of team members were away this weekendon holiday or working / otherwise unavailable at the time of this call out.

As this information was known throughout the membership, (We publish amongst theentire team membership, weeklyupdates as to team member availability) a number of the members who actually attended this incident tonight did so in the knowledge thatprior committed personal social events might not be met, and indeed this was the case as this particular call out led to some present having to cancel evening social engagements as the call out lasted a little longer than we initially thought.

All pictures in this article are courtesy and copyright of Carl Silver.