Report on evening exercise of Wednesday 25th March 2015, two (exercise) casualties on a very cold windswept Rivington Pike

Yesterday evenings weekly training exercise took place on the very cold windswept slopes of Rivington Pike, with the 4c temperature feeling more like freezing level, taking account of the wind chill but at least it was dry (Later in the early hours of the morning the forecasted snow arrived)

The team members present had met for the 20.00hrs start at the car parking area on the moorland track of Georges Lane, in the vicinity of Brown Hill.

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Split in to two parties, under the leadership of our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE and Training Officer Alistair Greenough, they set off to two exercise casualty sites on the slopes of Rivington Pike, under the direction of our controllers for the evening, Elaine Gilliland and Paul Copley.

Alistair’s party made the first ‘find’ coming across exercise casualty, 17 year old Stephen Buckley, who was convincingly made up to look as if he had severely lacerated his abdomen, after slipping on to a barbed wire fence, giving that parties members a casualty scenario which tested their skills – and saw a successful evacuation.

Garry’s party came across their casualty, played by Lee O’Hara, brother of team member Steve O’Hara (who seemingly has had an endless supply of ‘exercise’ casualties for us to play with over these last few weeks)

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Lee played out the part brilliantly of having tripped sustaining a compound fracture of the lower leg, which was then treated by trainee team member Carole Truman.

Unbeknown to the team members taking part, Lee genuinely suffers from claustrophobia, and suffered an increasingly worsening actual onset of claustrophobia as we were placing him on to our mountain rescue stretcher.

Lee as a result ‘walked off’ with his brother Steve, with team member Steve Fletcher stepping in to lie on the stretcher to complete the evacuation phase for this party of the exercise.

Back at the Georges Lane RVP, at circa 21.20hrs the Police helicopter NPAS Barton joined us, as aware of the exercise, and being tasked to a nearby operation, they overflew the exercise area and demonstrated their nitesun equipment.

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The usual exercise hot debrief thanked both our exercise casualties for this evening, but also focused on Lees claustrophobia, and the real issues it would have created for us had his injury been for real (his condition certainly was) – Lee also gave his kind permission for us to mention this on our website.

Eighteen full team members and five trainee team members took an active part in tonight’s exercise (Not forgetting the ‘Cinderella’ of the team, Paul Brain, who had to stay behind at our Base / HQ submitting incident reports to the MREW Statistics Officer!)

We concluded the evening with a large number of team member shaving a social drink at the Jolly Crofters Public House on Chorley Old Road, Horwich.