Primarily, we exist to provide a voluntary Search and Rescue service for people enjoying the West Pennine Moors, but besides searching for missing or injured hill walkers and people involved in mountain biking and climbing accidents, we are also heavily involved in other “happenings”.
Our past callouts have involved crashed aircraft, hang gliders and parapenters. We have even been called upon to provide a supporting role to the Fire Service during the huge Winter Hill moorland fires of 2018.
Generally, however, where there is a problem locating victims, or the terrain surrounding a casualty is difficult to access, it is likely that your mountain rescue team is involved.
We are a key resource available to the other emergency services, our specialist skills being recognised and respected by Greater Manchester Police and Lancashire Constabulary who utilise us (along with other teams) to help in search and rescue operations, alongside use by the Ambulance services. The Team also works with Greater Manchester and Lancashire Fire and Rescue Services, assisting at high-line rescues (structures as well as the more familiar rock faces and steep ground) and moorland firefighting operations.
More widely, we are also part of Lancashire and Greater Manchester’s Civil Contingencies planning and can be called upon during major incidents. Recent training has included Operation Dark Knight, a simulated mass pile up on the M62 planned and undertaken to coincide with road work closures. It was a realistic scenario with limited upfront information during which we undertook final casualty triage and co-ordinated transport.