Incident 34/2012

At 21:06 this evening the team was paged by NWAS Manchester Emergency Control Centre who were requesting our help on an incident.

The pager call was answered by Deputy Team Leader Geoff Seddon (closely followed by our Team Leader) who in turn mobilised the team to a rendezvous point at Woodland Cemetery, off New City Road, Ellen Brook, near to Mosley Common, Worsley at 21:11.

A 13 year old male in the company of his friend had earlier been playing in the vicinity of a steep sided stream which runs through open land adjacent to the the cemetery, and had fallen awkwardly on his ankle resulting in a suspected ankle fracture. Whilst being comforted by his friend, they contacted his mother and she in turn living close by, went to help and then contacted the ambulance service.

Upon arrival of the ambulance crew, the crew realised that the injured boy was some distance from the road, and we were therefore called to carry him out to the waiting ambulance. The first team member, Alan James, who lives locally, arrived on scene at 21:14, with our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE, also a local resident, arriving on scene at 21:20. Alan went immediately to the casualty site with one of the ambulance crew members whilst our Team Leader awaited the 21:28 arrival of our first responding Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulance with three team members on board.


A specialist mountain rescue SAR Alpine Lite stretcher was immediately despatched to the incident site by which time the boy’s injured ankle had been splinted by the ambulance crew with the young teenager also on painkilling Entonox gas.

With more team members arriving, the stretcher evacuation commenced at 21:43 with the teenager safely in the ambulance at 21:51. The casualty was then taken, along with his mother, to Royal Bolton Hospital.


Although cold and chilly, thankfully this whole operation was concluded just before the onset of full darkness.

The following resources responded or were involved in this incident:

  • NWAS Manchester, 1x Emergency Ambulance, 2x crew members (from Bolton North Ambulance Station)
  • NWAS Manchester Emergency Control Centre
  • Bolton MRT, two team Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulances
  • Bolton MRT, a total of 22 team members on scene with a further four stood down responding.

All team members left the rendezvous point by 22:10.

We would like to make mention of the friend of the injured boy who stayed with him and then helped to guide in the ambulance crew and rescuers. We would also like to mention a male member of the public who also comforted the boy and also guided in our rescue party.

Throughout the whole operation, the mother of the injured boy remained with him and was very grateful to the rescue team for their assistance.

As an aside and along the lines of a ‘Funny thing happened at the rescue,’ as the rescue operation took place at dusk, a line of chemical light sticks was laid across the cemetery towards the open land where the casualty was, to guide in our later arrivals. (Who were told to follow the line of lights) It was only when it started to get darker we realised the beautiful serene setting of the woodland cemetery included lots of small graveside lights and lit candles… more than one of our members followed the wrong light trail!