Incident 97/2014 – Team on crewed standby to assist NWAS (Greater Manchester)

At 12.57hrs this cold and damp afternoon, our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE was contacted directly by NWAS (Greater Manchester) Parkway EOC and then at 14.01hrs by NWAS (Lancashire) Broughton EOC, to enquire as to the team’s availability status, to assist NWAS with likely issues of high peak demand and weather related events (rain, snow and ice) over the period commencing this evening and in to tomorrow evening. (All as part of the ‘step up’ procedure for NWAS)

All operational Team members were alerted by pager to this request at 14.06hrs by our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE, with contingencies then put in to place should we be requested for this evening, Friday 12th December 2014.

We understand at this same time NWAS made similar contact with our colleague MRTs in Lancashire and Greater Manchester, including Oldham MRT.

A number of Bolton MRT members volunteered their immediate assistance via our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE should the team be mobilised.

Our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE maintained contact with NWAS (Greater Manchester) Parkway EOC throughout the late afternoon, informing them that two of our Land Rover Defender Mountain Rescue vehicles would be available if required.

A text message at 18.15hrs confirmed to the six team members immediately available that they were to remain on ‘home standby.’

Between 19.23hrs and 19.38hrs in phone calls between NWAS (Greater Manchester) Parkway EOC and our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE, the team was requested to go to crewed standby status at our Ladybridge Hall Base / HQ by NWAS.

Six team members were informed by text and one by phone, to mobilise to our Base / HQ at 19.47hrs, with a group pager message at 19.51hrs to all the team operational members informing them that two Land Rovers with crew were being made available.

Seven team members ; Chairman Craig Lamb, Equipment Officers Steve Fletcher, Mike O’Brien, Paul Copley and Dave Cook, DVSD Dog Handler Dave Marsh and Mike Marsh all subsequently attended our Ladybridge Hall Base / HQ, with Mike Marsh further liaising with the on duty NWAS (Greater Manchester) Parkway EOC Control Room Manager.

The team was held to assist NWAS with specific taskings, which as the evening unfolded did not in the event occur, resulting in a decision to stand down the team, made in conversation between our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE and NWAS Parkway EOC control Room Manager, at 23.31hrs.

Our members at Base / HQ were then informed at 23.34hrs to stand down, with this incident concluding at midnight.

In total we had eight team members (named above) involved in this standby, with a further team member – Neil Aspinall, available if required.

Oldham MRT were also mobilised to assist within NWAS (Greater Manchester) and were stood down shortly prior to our stand down.