Report on Wednesday evening exercise of 13th August 2014

On Wednesday evening 13th August, our weekly training exercise took place on an unseasonal cold Winter Hill, not only was it cold but it was very wet underfoot from recent heavy rains.

Twenty four Call Out operational members and one Trainee Team member attended, meeting on Winter Hill summit at the end of the Transmitter Station road for the usual 20.00hrs start.

Tonight’s exercise was themed around the use and equipment familiarity of all of our stretchers and various full body and immobilisation splints in use within the team, and was organised and arranged by our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE.

With very experienced team member Mark Scott aided by Chris Weatherhead snug and warm in our Incident Control Vehicle (They even put the heater on !) running our ‘Control’ for the evening, the twenty three other members were split in to two parties, Party 1 with Carol Truman as their exercise casualty (So we didn’t put her off on her visit to us last Wednesday) and Party 2 with team member Gillian Leigh as their exercise casualty.

Both parties were given a tasking sheet, and a route down the high moorland feature of Dean Ditch, with at short time intervals various stops to make use of many types of team equipment focusing largely on the use of such for carrying casualties, for short or longer distances.

Each party this evening used our ; SAR Alpine Lite Mountain Rescue Stretcher, Bell Mountain Rescue Stretcher, MIBS stretcher, Scoop Stretcher, Long board and head blocks, ‘Standard’ Casualty Bags and Lightweight casualty bags.

At the return point of the exercise, each party then took part in sledging their respective stretchers assisted by drag rope hauling, which in the words of exercise casualty Caro Truman gave a surprisingly smooth stretcher ride.

With the onset of darkness now occurring earlier in to our evening exercises once more head torches were evident tonight as was warmer team clothing given the chilling wind.

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At the exercise conclusion and following our usual exercise ‘hot debrief’ we all retired, including Carol, to the comfort of the Jolly Crofters on Chorley Old Road, Horwich, for a well earned drink.

Next weeks planned exercise is being organised by our Deputy Team Leader Chris Greenhalgh and Paul Copley, and will see us taking part in a typical urban fringe steep sided valley rescue incident.