Incident 76/2014 – injured walker at Rivington

At 17.02hrs this sunny and warm early evening, we were paged by NWAS (Lancashire) EOC Broughton / Air Desk despatcher for our immediate help with the report of an injured male with a leg fracture in the vicinity of the moorland landmark of Rivington Pike.

The call was answered by our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE who liaised with NWAS to try to establish the casualty location – mobile phone contact being very poor with the informant.

Initially NWAS and ourselves were only aware that two males had been out walking and one had fallen injuring his leg, with the uninjured companion calling 999.

With some members already responding to our garage locations, at 17.18hrs a more detailed pager message alerted the team membership to a likely RVP on Georges Lane.

With our Team Leader liaising further with NWAS during our response, by 17.28hrs the RVP had been changed to Lower House Car Park at Rivington.

Our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE arrived at this location at 17.36hrs, whilst an NWAS Emergency Ambulance had arrived at the Pigeon Tower, higher up on the moorland fringe of the Terraced Gardens at Rivington.

No casualty was evident, and with the arrival of our ‘BM1’ vehicle and then ‘BM3’ at Lower House, both vehicles entered the Terraced Gardens, to commence a track search also despatching two members to search the hillside below the Pigeon Tower – Gill Leigh and David Crawford.

At circa 17.45hrs NWAS received another 999 call in relation to this incident, this time from a male mountain biker, who had come across the injured male (His companion having gone further downhill to find a road to get help for his injured friend)

The mountain biker could not get a mobile phone signal at the casualty site, and so headed further downhill to make the 999 call.

With this new information received by NWAS, they in turn passed the second 999 caller’s details to our Team Leader, who at 18.02hrs spoke to the mountain biker concerned, and established from the details given, that the casualty site was possibly at the bottom part of the Terraced Gardens in the vicinity of Gilsbrook, Lever Park.

At this stage our ‘BM1’ and ‘BM3’ vehicles with a small number of team members were at the Horwich ‘side’ of the Terraced Gardens on Roynton Lane, just to the south of the Japanese Lagoon and Garden area.

Team members Diane Blakeley and Kris Kilshaw were despatched to commence a search of the lower part of the Terraced Gardens, heading downhill towards Gilsbrook.

Our ‘BM1’ and ‘BM3’ vehicles relocated from within the Terraced Gardens to the Gilsbrook area, with other personal and our ‘BM2’ vehicle which had all been on hold at the Lower House Car Park, also relocating to this new RVP.

At circa 18.20hrs the search by Diane and Kris had a successful outcome, when they located the casualty, who had answered the shouted appeals from Diane and Kris.

The casualty was located on the stone surfaced track, just above the Gilsbrook entrance to the Terraced Gardens, which runs steeply up the hillside alongside the edge of the Terraced Gardens.

Whilst awaiting the arrival of colleague team members, Diane commenced initial casualty care, and also established on behalf of the casualty contact with his mother and his companion.

The casualty is carried off the hill to the waiting NWAS Ambulance
The casualty is carried off the hill to the waiting NWAS Ambulance

Kris Kilshaw meanwhile went further downhill to establish contact with our arriving team vehicles and guide them to the casualty site.

(Diane describes her ‘solo’ time with the casualty as being a new experience for her, whilst Kris described this as his first ‘personal’ casualty ‘find’ since he joined the team)

By 18.29hrs our first two Land Rovers – ‘BM1’ and ‘BM3’ were parked up near Gilsbrook, with ‘BM2’ arriving shortly thereafter along with other team members.

Equipment was then quickly despatched to the casualty site, by 18.36hrs.

The 25 years old injured male, had a suspected leg fracture / knee injury, which was treated and splinted by team members.

Commencing at 18.47hrs he was stretcher evacuated on a mountain rescue stretcher downhill by team members present, to the waiting NWAS Emergency Ambulance at Gilsbrook, to which he was transferred at 18.56hrs, and then taken onwards to Royal Bolton Hospital.

With the companion of the injured male also now accounted for, our last personnel left the Rivington area at 19.32hrs.

The following resources were deployed on this incident:

  • NWAS (Lancashire) EOC Broughton, Air Desk.
  • NWAS (Greater Manchester) 2x Emergency Ambulances, from Bolton North and Blackrod Ambulance Stations, 2x crew members on each.
  • Bolton Mountain Rescue Team ; Three of our Team Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulance vehicles, radio call signs ‘Bolton Mobiles 1, 2 and 3.’ Fourteen team members on scene with a further four stood down responding.

The team would like to express its thanks in regards to the large number of mountain bikers and walkers in the area of the Terraced Gardens at Rivington today, who so readily offered their assistance to us in trying to locate the casualty.

The team would also like to express its thanks once more to our colleagues at Bowland Pennine MRT for allowing us to make use of their ‘Winter Hill Repeater’ radio channel which greatly facilitated our communications today.