Incident 35/2012

At 15:36 this very sunny and very hot afternoon, the team was paged by North West Ambulance Service (Lancashire) who were requesting our assistance at an incident on the slopes of Winter Hill, near Belmont.

The call was immediately answered by our Team Leader, and with team vehicles in the area and also at our Ladybridge Hall Base/HQ following the Darwen Tower Trudge earlier today, an immediate response was made.

The call from the ambulance service was for a mountain biker who had fallen from his bike whilst decending the track from Winter Hill summit towards the A675. The 35 year old very experienced male rider had fallen and had badly lacerated his thigh immediately above the knee – a painful cut extending some 3.5 inches across, and very deep.

BMRT members prepare equipment for the evacuation from Winter Hill
The 999 call received slightly earlier had initially been received by Lancashire Constabulary who in turn passed it onto NWAS (Lancashire), who in turn asked us to attend and assist.

With three team members arriving at the San Marino restaurant RVP at 15:40 (shortly after two Lancashire Constabulary officers had arrived), all three walked up the track to find the exact location of the casualty and to join one of the Lancashire Constabulary officers who had already set off on foot.

By 15:47 the responding NWAS ambulance, along with two Bolton MRT Land Rovers had arrived at the RVP, joined shortly later by a third Bolton MRT Land Rover.

BMRT members and a Lancashire Constabulary officer treat the casualty for his injures
With the exact site of the injured male now known and with first arriving team members having dressed the casualty’s wound, a party of team members and the crew from the NWAS Emergency Ambulance journeyed on foot approximately 1.2km up the Winter Hill track to prepare for a stretcher evacuation, or the arrival of the North West Air Ambulance.

At this stage, the North West Air Ambulance arrived on scene, which had been mobilised earlier and landed almost immediately next to the casualty, at 16:28. The casualty’s leg was immobilised in a specialist vacuum splint, with the casualty also on painkilling gas. Team members, NWAS and NWAA crews then loaded the casualty onto the Air Ambulance stretcher and then into the helicopter, which left the scene at 16:49 with the casualty on board, bound for Royal Blackburn Hospital.

NWAA Helimed 08 arrives on scene

The casualty is loaded onto the Air Ambulance to be flown to Royal Blackburn Hospital
The team members, Lancashire Constabulary officer and the NWAS crew – who by now were all rather warm – then returned down the track to the San Marino RVP. One team vehicle then travelled to Royal Blackburn Hospital to collect some of the team’s equipment which had travelled with the casualty onboard the Air Ambulance.

The following resources were deployed or involved during this incident:

  • Lancashire Constabulary – two divisional patrol cars and two Police Constables
  • NWAS (Lancashire) Emergency Ambulance and two crew from Altham Ambulance station
  • NWAS (Lancashire) Emergency Control Centre
  • United Utilities Ranger Andy Ryding (Andy is an ex-Bolton MRT member)
  • Bolton MRT, 16 team members and three team vehicles; with one other team member stood down responding

As a footnote, we understand that the casualty involved who is from the Sharples area of Bolton is no stranger to helicopters having been an air crew member of Sea King Commando helicopters in the Fleet Air Arm!