Incident 84/2015 – fallen horse rider on Darwen Moor

At 08:55 this morning the team was contacted by the North West Ambulance Service (Broughton EOC) via SARCALL. NWAS were requesting our assistance at an incident on the moors above Darwen.

A 51 year old female had reportedly been thrown from her horse after it had been spooked whilst out riding on the tracks on Darwen Moor.

The call was answered by Deputy Team Leader Chris Greenhalgh whilst team members assembled at the vehicle garage locations and donned waterproofs for what would prove to be quite a damp callout.

The first team vehicles were en-route to Darwen from Bolton by 09:10; arriving at the designated RVP at Sunnyhurst Inn, on the fringes of Darwen Moor, by 09:40, whereupon they made contact via the Airwave radio system with the NWAS crew who had already begun to make their way on the moor accompanied by team member Dave Cook.

The North West Air Ambulance had also been called to this incident but due to the prevailing weather conditions of low cloud was unable to land close to the scene.

The female casualty involved had reportedly suffered serious injuries as a result of this accident, so an initial party of five team members was deployed in our BM2 Land Rover ambulance onto the moor. After careful driving for approximately 1km, the vehicle arrived at the scene of the accident, some 40m below Darwen Tower, on the slopes above Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir.

Darwen Moor 7NOV2015 005

In heavy rain and wind, specialist rescue equipment was used to help treat her injuries, and keep her as warm and dry as possible. The casualty was then placed on board a SAR Alpine Lite Mountain Rescue stretcher. With the arrival of additional team members at the scene, the injured female was carried back to the waiting NWAS Emergency Ambulance at the Sunnyhurst Inn RVP.

Darwen Moor 7NOV2015 009

Whilst the casualty was transferred to the NWAS ambulance for onward transport to Royal Preston Hospital, two team members (now both quite damp) returned back onto the moor to retrieve the vehicle that had been left at the accident scene earlier.

All team members were back at the road by 11:20 and vehicles returned to their base locations, where equipment used on the callout was  put out to dry. Meanwhile, team member Neil Aspinall made his way to Royal Preston Hospital to recover several items of equipment which had been taken to hospital with the casualty.

All said and done, the incident was finally concluded by 14:00.

The following resources were involved in this incident:

  • North West Ambulance Service
    • Broughton EOC Air Desk dispatcher
    • Emergency Ambulance and two crew
  • Lancashire Constabulary
    • Two divisional officers (initially called as the horse had reportedly bolted off the moor, into domestic gardens)
  • North West Air Ambulance – Aircraft was unable to attend due to weather conditions
  • Bolton Mountain Rescue Team
    • Three Mountain Rescue Land Rover ambulances
    • 13 team members