Incident 17/2016 – Snow Sledging accident at Stand Lane, Chapel Field, Whitefield

At 14.42hrs this snowy afternoon, whilst still present at Incident 16 at Rivington, we were paged by NWAS (Cumbria and Lancashire) Broughton EOC, to respond to assist with a snow sledging accident in fields near to Stand Lane, Whitefield, within Greater Manchester.

The call was answered by our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE, with team members being diverted from the previous incident at Rivington, to lend assistance to NWAS with the stretcher evacuation of the injured 50 year old woman sledger.

By 15.28hrs our first Land Rover was on scene at the Stand Lane, Chapelfield, roadside RVP, and essential equipment started to be despatched to the casualty site very quickly, where the woman concerned, had suspected back injuries, and was being treated by responding NWAS personnel.

By 15.44hrs a mountain rescue stretcher evacuation was commencing, part carry and part sledge, when the third consecutive call of the day came to the team from NWAS.

As with Incident 16, team members from this incident were immediately diverted to deal with this third incident.

By 15.55hrs the injured woman was safely evacuated to the Stand Lane RVP, and quickly in to the warmth of the NWAS Emergency Ambulance and on route to Royal Bolton Hospital.

By 16.02hrs this incident was completed and remaining members at this location went on to respond to Incident 18.

During the response to this second incident of the day, and in the general Whitefield area at the time, whilst traveling on ‘blues and twos’ (Emergency lighting and sirens activated) with poor conditions during a snow fall, a youth within a group of youths threw a deliberately aimed large compacted ice ball, at the front windscreen of our Incident Control Vehicle.

Fortunately this hit the passenger side of the front windscreen, but still caused considerable distraction for the driver, both from the shock and sound of the impact and from obscuring the view out of the windscreen albeit temporarily.

Our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE was present in the front passenger seat at the time, and comments that this was an extremely foolish and dangerous act that endangered the response being made.

The driver, our Training Officer Alistair Greenough equally commented on this act, which was totally unexpected and had the real potential to endanger all present in the vehicle.

The following resources were involved in this incident;

  • NWAS (Greater Manchester Area); EOC Parkway, Emergency Ambulance and two crew from Rochdale Ambulance Station, one Rapid Response Vehicle with solo crew / Paramedic.
  • NWAS (Cumbria and Lancashire); EOC Broughton.
  • Bolton Mountain Rescue Team; Two Land Rover Defender Mountain Rescue Ambulances, Volkswagen Sprinter Incident Control Vehicle, seventeen team operational members on scene.