Incident 55/2012

At 14.35hrs this overcast afternoon, we were paged by NWAS (Lancashire) ECC – Airdesk, to assist the North West Air Ambulance with an incident in the hillside ‘Terraced Gardens’ at Rivington, below the moorland landmark of Rivington Pike.

The NWAA Helimed 72 had been called to an incident involving a man out walking in the company of his wife, who had stumbled sustaining a very serious lower leg injury.

The Air Ambulance helicopter had located the casualty, with help from members of the public on the ground, on the edge of the ‘Japanese Lagoon’ within the Terraced Gardens, and had managed to land on some flat land on the adjacent steeply sloping moorland hillside.

Landing at 14.16hrs, the crew once at the casualty site realised they would require mountain rescue assistance to stretcher evacuate the casualty to the nearby Air Ambulance helicopter, and we were paged at 14.35hrs.

The man aged 57, from the Bolton area had slipped on wet ground, and prior to the teams arrival was treated by the NWAA crew with drugs to ease his pain, whilst his lower leg / ankle injury was splinted.

Our first members in our BM1 vehicle arrived on scene at 15.00hrs, with our second responding vehicle, BM2 arriving on scene at 15.05hrs.

A specialist mountain rescue stretcher was quickly despatched to the incident site, and by 15.15hrs, the casualty was loaded onto the stretcher for the short, yet steep and rocky path, to the nearby helicopter.

At 15.24hrs the casualty was within the helicopter which lifted off at 15.27hrs for the quick (By air!) journey to Royal Preston Hospital.

By 15.50hrs all responding mountain rescue assets had left the Incident RVP, which was by the now disused ‘New Toilet Block’ at the Georges Lane (A moorland track) entrance to the Terraced Gardens.

The following resources were involved and deployed to this incident:

  • Bolton Mountain Rescue Team; Two Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulances, with ten team members on scene and one other member stood down responding.
  • North West Ambulance Service (Lancashire) Emergency Control Centre; ‘Airdesk’ despatcher, who gave their usual great help in detailing the casualty site, and the location of the helicopter.
  • North West Air Ambulance, ‘Helimed 72,’ from City Airport Manchester (Barton) three crew on board.

This incident yet again demonstrated the close liaison and operational working between the team, NWAS (Lancashire) ECC / Airdesk, and the NWAA.