Team in Joint Exercise with GMFRS White Watch local resources

This warm sunny morning, a small number of team members at the invitation of GMFRS, took part in a joint exercise with GMFRS local resources in the Wilderswood area on the fringes of Wilders Moor, above Horwich.

The exercise was organised and co-ordinated by GMFRS Bolton North Community Fire Station Watch Manager Nigel Booth, who is also our Equipment Officer – Medical and an experienced Call Out list member.

The core aim of the exercise was the location, casualty care, recovery and evacuation of an injured person from a steep sided wooded moorland stream, utilising GMFRS resources but with Mountain Rescue assistance available on scene if requested or desired.

Mobilisation of available assets and intra / inter communications also formed part of the exercise, including direct radio links to GMP Force Control Room.

Commencing at circa 09.00hrs, GMFRS White Watch resources mobilised included the Pump Appliance and specialist off road 6×6 Pinzgaur Pump Appliance from GMFRS Bolton North Community Fire Station, a single Pump Appliance from GMFRS Horwich Community Fire Station, and the GMFRS Technical Rescue Unit and their Appliance.

Mobilising to observe the exercise was GMFRS Station Manager Phil Hall (GMFRS Farnworth Community Fire Station)

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Bolton MRT resources included five Team Call Out list members; Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE, Alistair Greenough, Nigel Booth, Martin Battersby and Mike Marsh, with Probationary Team member Gary Melia.

Our vehicles present were Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulances, radio call signs Bolton Mobile 1 and 3, and our Incident Control Vehicle Bolton Mobile 6.

As the exercise rescue started to develop, GMFRS TRU resources were dealing with the exercise incident alongside other GMFRS resources present, with our members present on standby nearby.

The TRU were then tasked by North West Fire Control to respond to a request to assist in the search for a missing man at Pennington Flash Country Park (See website ‘News’ report dated Tuesday 1st July 2014) and quickly departed the exercise.

On scene Bolton MRT assets were then tasked to join the GMFRS Bolton North Community Fire Station and Horwich Community Fire Station crews with carrying out the exercise, now on a joint BMRT / GMFRS basis.

Overall GMFRS Officer in charge on scene was Horwich White Watch Manager Glyn McGann, a former Bolton MRT team call out member.

By 11.57hrs the exercise had been successfully completed, including a short but steep rope assisted stretcher haul with ‘casualty’ out of the wooded moorland stream.

A real time situation facing this mornings exercise was road closures on Georges Lane giving an added dimension to the location and management of the ‘incident’ RVP – with thanks to United Utilities working nearby for their understanding.

Once again the local biting midges were also out in force – GMFRS now know the value of midge face nets and the secrets of Skin So Soft in defeating midges.

This exercise is yet another example of the closer liaisons the Bolton MRT are developing with local GMFRS Community Fire Stations and their respective Duty Watches.