BMRT Joint Exercise with Airport Rescue and Fire Service and Casualties Union

After a busy morning attending incidents at Rivington Pike and then Sale, two Bolton MRT vehicles, with 8 full call-out team members on board, 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).

Two of the Casualty Union trapped

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.

a difficult extraction

The event, as with our previous exercises in January 2010 and October 2011, 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.

one of the realistic injuries

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.

As ever the Bolton Mountain Rescue Team would like to especially thank City Airport Manchester Airport Fire Manager Mark Anthony for his effort in setting up this exercise and for his ready support of the Bolton MRT. We would also like to extend thanks to City Airport Manchester, Airfield Duty Manager Mark Knowles for his involvement in this exercise.

the Casualty Uniln, Airport Fire Service staff and some of our members attending today