Team participates fully in Joint Exercise at City Airport Manchester. (Barton)

For the second time (Please see website news report dated Saturday 30th January 2010) at the direct invitation of team friend and supporter Nick Duriez, Airport Operations Manager, the team participated today in a joint casualty care exercise at City Airport Manchester. (Formerly known as Barton Airport)

We understand this exercise is part of the accreditation that the airport has to regularly undertake through the CAA as part of its airport operators licence.

In planning for a number of months, with our team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE liaising regularly with AOM Nick Duriez, our involvement first time round came through the teams assistance in the past with providing casualty care training opportunities for the airport fire fighters, and links forged when the Airport Fire and Rescue Service over the years have provided light aircraft and helicopter crash awareness training to the team, in the event we ever come across such an incident. (Which has sadly happened a few times in the history of the team)

Today’s exercise involved staff from City Airport Manchester Airport Fire and Rescue Service and their two Airport Fire Appliances, Bolton Mountain Rescue Team ; 16x team call out list members under the direction of our Training Officer Elaine Gilliland, with all five of our team Emergency vehicles, and the excellent acting skills of Casualties Union.

The vehicles of Bolton MRT and City Airport Manchester Airport Fire and Rescue Service

There follows below an account of today’s excellent exercise by Bolton Mountain Rescue Team member Mark Scott ;

“All five Bolton MRT vehicles headed to City Airport Manchester today for a very special training event. The plan was to work alongside the Airport Fire and Rescue Service and deal with simulated incidents involving what we call “exercise casualties”. That in itself was not unusual, but what made this exercise far from usual was that our exercise casualties were from a remarkable group called the Casualties’ Union. They specialise in making each other up using fake blood and injuries and they are especially good at knowing how to act the part. There are also rather a lot of them, and they are always very, very ’poorly!’ It all makes for an extremely challenging and intense experience that really sharpens up our casualty care and incident management skills. It is also an excellent opportunity to practice something that is becoming more and more important as regular visitors to the news section of our web site will know: inter-agency working (in this case with the Airport Fire and Rescue Service).

Preparing to extricate an injured person from a car

Many of the simulated incidents were designed to recreate the sorts of challenges that would be faced when a passenger aircraft crashes. For example, a vehicle with injured passengers inside which could only be accessed from one side, as would be the case in an aircraft. Such extractions, where the casualty has to be assumed to be possibly spinally injured, are very tricky but the team working was superb and the rescues were carried out very effectively.

Exercise participants carry another “injured” person from the minibus

The event, as with our last exercise in January 2010, was a great success and all agreed it was very valuable training. Lots of useful lessons were learned, but it was also great fun for all.”

The Bolton Mountain Rescue Team would like to express very sincere thanks to the management of City Airport Manchester for inviting us to today’s exercise and allowing us to use their facilities, our colleagues in the Airport Fire and Rescue Service, and especially the remarkable members of the Casualties’ Union.

Members of Bolton MRT, City Airport Manchester Airport Fire and Rescue Service, and Casualties Union, all of whom took part in the exercise

As ever the Bolton Mountain Rescue Team would like to especially thank City Airport Manchester Airport Operations Manager Nick Duriez for all his help with setting up this exercise and for his ready support of the Bolton MRT.