Incident 56/2014

At 17.35hrs this very warm and sunny, fine early evening we were paged by NWAS (Manchester) EOC for our assistance.

The call was immediately answered by our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE, whilst our Deputy Team Leader Chris Greenhalgh and two other team members (Steve Fletcher and Dave Marsh) all made their way to our Ladybridge Hall Base / HQ and GMFRS Bolton Central Community Fire Station garage, to make ready two of our Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulances for the required response.

The initial information was in relation to a very recent 999 call reporting an injured male cyclist at Clifton Country Park, Clifton, Swinton.

NWAS EOC informed our Team Leader a Rapid Response Vehicle was on route, and at 17.45hrs a full team pager call out was made, with both our Land Rovers departing soon afterwards.

At Clifton Country Park, near to the River Irwell, an experienced 50 year old male mountain biker, from the Unsworth, Bury, area, had come unseated at a small timber bridge over a shallow depression.


Initially his female friend, Nicola Latham (A school teacher from Swinton) had apparently missed him, (As she reported to us later) as he was lay injured partly obscured by the small timber bridge.

Nicola then cycled to the nearby Country Park Information Centre car park, in her attempts to obtain a mobile phone signal, with a passing member of the public making the call on her phone which had a signal.

A nearby fisherman, Glyn Berry, also assisted Nicola, and soon the NWAS RRV solo Paramedic was on scene.

At 17.55hrs Phil Crook was our first team member on scene, followed soon by others, and at 18.05hrs both our Land Rovers arrived at the Information Centre car park RVP.

The NWAA Helimed 75, after a period hovering overhead to locate the casualty site, which was under a dense tree canopy, landed nearby at 18.10hrs, and the two crew Paramedics also went to the scene.


By 18.08hrs essential mountain rescue equipment to aid in the evacuation was being despatched to the casualty site.

In a joint operation on scene, the injured mountain biker was treated for head, neck, back, and shoulder injuries, with NWAS / NWAA / BMRT personnel all carefully placing the injured man on to a scoop stretcher and then on to one of our specialist mountain rescue stretchers – SAR Alpine Lite MR Stretcher.

The injured man was also given pain relieving gas, to help with his obvious discomfort.

The experienced mountain biker had been wearing a helmet which was damaged in the accident, but protected his head from further injury.

It was decided to evacuate him to the responding Emergency Ambulance, which had arrived nearby, rather than the Air Ambulance, and a stretcher evacuation involving over twenty team members working in relays on the narrow path, commenced at 18.47hrs.


By 19.00hrs the man was being further assessed and treated in the NWAS Emergency Ambulance, which departed at 19.33hrs for Hope Hospital, Salford.

By 19.45hrs all involved emergency personnel at this incident had left the incident scene.

Our latest update on the mans condition, when we went to Hope Hospital to collect our equipment was that he was being further treated for bruising and rib injuries.

Nicola Latham, the team, NWAS and NWAA would like to thank a nearby fisherman, Glyn Berry, who very kindly assisted initially at the scene of this accident, met our responding members, allowed key access through some barrier gates, and also acted as a guide to the casualty site, your help was appreciated. (Furthermore this kind man offered to look after the injured mans mountain bike until it could be collected later)

The following resources were deployed or involved in this incident ;

NWAS (Manchester) EOC; Performance Managers and Control Room Managers.
NWAS (Manchester) Rapid Response Vehicle from Bolton South (Highfield) Ambulance Station, solo Paramedic.
NWAS (Manchester) Emergency Ambulance from Bury Ambulance Station and two crew (One of whom, Tony Berry, is a former Bolton MRT member)
North West Air Ambulance; Helimed 75, City Airport Manchester (Barton) HEMS Paramedic, Paramedic and Aircraft Captain / Pilot.
Bolton Mountain Rescue Team; Two Team Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulances, Call Signs Bolton Mobile 2 and 3, twenty four team Call Out list members on scene, and two further members stood down responding.
GMP Force Control Room; Force Duty Officer, who monitored this incident throughout.

As ever we extend our thanks to our colleagues at Bowland Pennine MRT for freely allowing us to utilise their ‘Winter Hill Repeater’ radio channel during our response to this incident, which as always greatly facilitated our intra team radio communications.

This call out was our fourth this year involving a mountain biker – in 2013 we were called out to ten mountain bike accidents in total.