Incident 10/2012

At 15:54 this afternoon, the team was paged by NWAS (Lancashire) to an incident in the woodlands at Roddlesworth, Tockholes, with the report of a female casualty with a head injury sustained after falling into the River Roddlesworth whilst out dog walking on the Nature Trail of the same name.

A slightly earlier 999 call to NWAS (Lancashire) had initially prompted a Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service joint with Lancashire Constabulary response to the same general area, when it was initially thought the person involved was actually in one of the nearby reservoirs of the Roddlesworth Reservoir system.

A fully detailed team pager call out was made at 16:05, with our first team members arriving at the Roddlesworth RVP by the Information Centre area at 16:20 followed by our first responding vehicle at 16:25 and our Team Leader at 16:26.

It was established that the 71 years old woman involved (from Blackburn) had been out dog walking in the company of a friend, when she fell into the shallow water of the River Roddlesworth within Roddlesworth Woods.

Apparently her walking companion could not lift her out of the water, and she in turn called for her husband to attend and help, with him in turn calling out the Emergency Services.

A passing member of the public helped get the woman out of the water on to the banking, assisted by responding Police Officers.

LFRS Fire Fighters then also located the casualty site and commenced an evacuation being joined by responding MRT and NWAS HART team members.

With the aid of Bolton MRT Land Rovers which hold keys to the relevant access gates within the Roddlesworth plantations, an NWAS Emergency Ambulance was driven to the vicnity of Halliwell Fold Bridge within the woods. The female casualty suffering from a head injury and hypothermia was evacuated to the ambulance, arriving at the ambulance at 16:55, and subsequently departed at 17:18 for Royal Blackburn Hospital.

Bolton MRT members then assisted LFRS Fire Fighters return their equipment back to the main RVP, plus Bolton MRT team member Sam McKay brought the two dogs back to the same point, with the injured woman’s friend and her husband also being brought back to the RVP in Bolton MRT Land Rovers.

The Lancashire Constabulary Air Support Unit helicopter also attended but was stood down over the scene, as the casualty site had been located.


Bolton MRT and NWAS HART Land Rover vehicles at the Tockholes Information Centre RVP


A major multi agency response resulted in the successful location and evacuation of this woman, just before the rapid onset of darkness and much lower temperatures.

The following resources were involved and deployed to this incident:

  • Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service
    • Three Pump appliances from Preston, Penwortham and Darwen Fire Stations
    • Water Incident Unit and specialist Swift Water Trained Fire Fighters.
  • NWAS
    • Lancashire Emergency Control Centre (Air Desk)
    • One Emergency Ambulance and two crew members.
    • NWAS HART (Hazardous Area Response Team) – Three Ambulances and six personnel who responded from their Trafford Park, Manchester, base.
  • Lancashire Constabulary
    • A number of Officers and vehicles from two Divisions, with support from their Force Control Room.
  • North West Air Operations Group (Police) / Lancashire Constabulary Air Support Unit helicopter, ‘Oscar November 99.’
  • Bolton Mountain Rescue Team
    • Three Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulance vehicles
    • 17x team call out list members on scene
    • a further six team call out list members being stood down responding.