Team member David Crawford attends MREW Casualty Care – Trauma / Medical weekend at Hope, Derbyshire

This weekend team Call Out list member David Crawford attended the MREW Casualty Care – Trauma / Medical weekend, hosted by Edale MRT at their Base / HQ, Lafarge Cement Works, Hope, Derbyshire.

There follows David’s report on the weekend;

“This weekend Team Call Out Member David Crawford attended the Casualty Care Trauma and Medical course organised and hosted by Edale Mountain Rescue Team at their base in Hope Valley in Derbyshire. He travelled there on the Friday evening and was made welcome at a local pub by some of the Edale team members and others on the course.

The course was attended by some 60 people from about 20 different teams from England, Scotland and Wales. We were all made welcome with a bacon butty on the Saturday morning, ably prepared by the Edale MRT ‘Support Crew’, and the course started promptly at 9am. It was led by Dr Steve Rowe, team doctor with the Edale MRT, but he was supported by an impressive range of 16 other speakers and tutors, all with experience of both working in mountain rescue environments and of various aspects of casualty care.



The Saturday started with lectures on the basics of a safe approach, Airway management, Breathing and spinal injury. After coffee we split into small groups for practical classes on airway care and the primary survey. This was followed by a talk on Circulation; thus completing the basic model of ABC (Airway, Breathing and Circulation). It was drummed into us that whatever the scenario (apart from a wound gushing blood) the starting point is always ABC. Over the two days, we were repeatedly reminded that in mountain rescue situations it is about ‘Doing the basics really, really well’. If we do this we save lives.

After lunch we covered heart attacks, asthma and brain injury followed by a further series of practical skills stations covering C spine assessment, pelvic and femur splinting, basic life support and major haemorrhage. This final topic included a realistic casualty spurting blood from an open leg wound. We all needed to retire to the pub after this.



The evening was spent at the Shoulder of Mutton in nearby Bradwell, where curry or pasta and a beer was enjoyed by all. The day concluded in the pub with an inspiring and entertaining illustrated talk from Dr John Ellerton, Medical Officer for MREW. This was a historic moment, as it was the last talk he was giving before standing down from his position as national Medical Officer. He talked about his travels to MR teams around the world in countries as far apart as Japan, Peru, Nepal and Canada, as well as in Europe. He was passionate about his work developing local rescue services in Nepal to benefit the local community and improve medical services, not just for well-off trekkers, but the indigenous population.

After a night camping out in sub-zero temperatures, it was appropriate that the first two lectures on the Sunday morning (after another bacon butty) were on being unconscious and hypothermia. This was followed by advice on taking the casualty care examination and working safely with helicopters. After coffee we were split into smaller groups for practical work on using pelvic and traction splints and on injecting drugs – into oranges. A short talk on fractures preceded lunch, taken sitting out in glorious sunshine.

The course finished with four realistically staged outdoor scenarios to put all we had learnt into action. We were faced with an unconscious person who had taken an overdose, a fallen climber with a broken femur, an allergic reaction and a barely conscious mountain biker with a suspected broken pelvis.

The whole course was extremely well-organised and the speakers were all excellent. It was an extremely enjoyable and informative two days. David is grateful to all involved in organising and running the course including the back up ‘Support Crew’, the casualties and the presenters.”