Incident 74/2014 – fall at Pickup Bank Reservoir

Late this warm sunny morning a party of five men were visiting the moorland fringe Pickup Bank Reservoir, Waterside, in the Eccleshill area of Darwen, when one of the group slipped down the very steep dam embankment.

The 43 years old male from Colne sustained head, neck, shoulder and back injuries, resulting in his colleagues contacting the Ambulance Service.

Shortly afterwards an NWAS Rapid Response Vehicle arrived on scene followed by an Emergency Ambulance, and then at circa 12.39hrs the NWAA Helimed 08, which landed at the top of the reservoir embankment.

At 12.48hrs we were paged by NWAS (Lancashire) EOC Broughton Air Desk despatcher, to lend our assistance with the evacuation of the injured man back up the embankment to the waiting Air Ambulance helicopter.

The call was answered by our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE, and in liaison with Ambulance Control , given the incident location was at the north eastern edge of our team’s primary operational area, it was decided to also call upon Rossendale and Pendle MRT for their assistance.

By 13.01hrs with some members already responding to our team vehicle garage locations, a full pager call out was made.

Our first of three responding Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulances went mobile at 13.13hrs.

By 13.35hrs an RPMRT member and our Team President Bob Hutchinson were on scene at the NWAS Ambulance RVP, followed at circa 13.40hrs by the arrival of our first responding Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulances BM3 and BM1 and RPMRTs two responding vehicles.

A mixed party of Bolton MRT and RPMRT members arrived at the casualty site at circa 13.48hrs, where the NWAS / NWAA crews had already placed the injured man onto a long board and administered drugs for his pain.

A joint group of Bolton MRT and Rossendale & Pendle MRT team members carries the injured male to the Helimed aircraft
A joint group of Bolton MRT and Rossendale & Pendle MRT team members carries the injured male to the Helimed aircraft

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Helimed 08 departs with the casualty on board
Helimed 08 departs with the casualty on board

The splinted man was placed on to a mountain rescue stretcher and carried back up the reservoir embankment to the waiting Air Ambulance helicopter, which lifted off for Preston Hospital at 14.06hrs arriving at hospital within minutes.

The following resources were directly involved in this incident:

  • NWAS (Lancashire) EOC Broughton Air Desk Despatcher.
  • NWAS (Lancashire) Rapid Response Vehicle from Blackburn Ambulance station, solo Paramedic, and an Emergency Ambulance with two crew (Paramedic and an EMT) from Accrington Ambulance station.
  • North West Air Ambulance, Helimed 08, from Blackpool Airport, two Paramedics and aircraft Captain.
  • Bolton MRT ; Three Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulance vehicles, ten team members on scene plus a further team member stood down responding.
  • Rossendale and Pendle MRT ; One Land Rover and one Toyota HiLux Mountain Rescue Ambulance vehicles, eight team members on scene.

This incident illustrates the close co-operative working of all the agencies present at this incident.

As a footnote, whilst responding to this incident, our Land Rover radio callsign ‘Bolton Mobile 2’ with team members Mark Scott and Chris Tennant on board, stopped at the scene of a roadside accident in Egerton to offer assistance to the GMP Officer present dealing with the casualty, but resumed its journey to the original incident when informed of the imminent arrival of the responding NWAS Emergency Ambulance.