Dec 26 2015
At 16.30hrs a mixed Bolton MRT / Cheshire SART convoy departed Incident 98 at Prestolee, with instructions to proceed to a large scale flooding incident in the Bury area.
Whilst en route, this emergency response was slightly delayed with traffic restrictions at the scene of a storm related gas explosion, with GMFRS granting emergency access through this fire ground cordon (thanks to the Officer on scene for facilitating this)
The emergency convoy was then redirected to GMP Bury Police Station, but on route at 16.51hrs the Bolton MRT was contacted by an NWAS Officer, requesting the teams urgent assistance at an incident in Lower Broughton, with the report of a one year old child and family members trapped by flood waters, in fear of drowning.
It was reported that no immediate GMFRS resources were available due to multiple weather / storm related emergencies.
The Cheshire SART element of the convoy was instructed by our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE to proceed with a small Bolton MRT contingent to Bury Police Station, to deal with that tasking, whilst five Bolton MRT vehicles proceeded to Lower Broughton.
Our first vehicle arrived on scene at 17.15hrs, liaising immediately with a large GMP presence, and an NWAS crew / Emergency Ambulance.
The River Irwell had burst its banks overflowing a flood defence wall, and had flooded a large part of the Lower Broughton Estate, bounded by the River Irwell and Lower Broughton Road.
As the rest of the Bolton MRT response arrived at 17.23hrs, it became immediately apparent that a large number of dynamic responses / tasking’s were required, and our SAR Boat was launched to start undertaking these at 17.30hrs, in association with briefings from GMP and NWAS personnel on scene.
We quickly established our Incident Control Vehicle to manage this incident, and started to collate a listing of those residents requiring evacuation from information being collated by GMP.
At circa 17.45hrs a large convoy of some thirteen plus MRT vehicles from Oldham MRT, RPMRT and the PDMRO Water Response Team arrived on scene, having been requested to attend this incident, at the conclusion of their involvement with a flooding incident in Littleborough.
The Bolton MRT Incident Control Vehicle became the ‘Incident Tasking and Deployment Cell,’ with the Oldham MRT Control Vehicle being set up to assist as a duplicate Bronze Control, and RPMRTs Control vehicle being set up to act as a Silver control should such be found necessary.
A GMFRS Water Rescue Unit and supporting Pump appliances also arrived, and together, utilising the 3x Inflatable SAR Boats, 3x Inflatable rescue sleds, and 6x large canoes (though not all were ultimately utilised) now available on scene, all the responding services commenced a co-ordinated integrated rescue / evacuation of those residents requiring such in this area.
As the incident unfolded, 2x NWAS HART teams arrived, providing medical support to those in need, once the MRTs / SARTs had effected their rescue.
Multiple tasking’s were carried out, in conditions of regular torrential rain, interspersed with drier conditions.
Resources also responded from this location to other nearby flooding events, including a caravan / camping site, where there was a threat to life, with many requiring immediate evacuation to a place of safety.
Here members from the Lower Broughton response, met up with GMFRS crews, including their TRU (Technical Rescue Unit) and the Water Rescue Unit from Heywood Community Fire Station, to evacuate residents, with some being loaded on to a truck which safely drove through the flood waters.
Back at the Lower Broughton incident, waters started to recede around 21.00hrs, quickly subsiding after this – much to the relief of Bolton MRT member Michael Wakerley who had acted as the water entry / exit point, and had braved the downpours all through this incident.
By circa 22.15hrs all tasking’s had been completed, and a stand down of MRT / SART resources commenced.
The incident scene was then visited by GMP Assistant Chief Constable John O’Hare, who made great efforts to praise and thank all the emergency responders present.
RPMRT had left at this stage, redeploying to NWAS tasking’s, with OMRT and PDMRO resources leaving by circa 22.30hrs, Cheshire SART by circa 22.40hrs and finally the Bolton MRT assets deployed, leaving at 22.50hrs.
At least 17x completely separate tasking’s were made during this incident, by the combined emergency services on scene, many involving multiple numbers of the public affected, including family parties.
a number of these incidents involved medical emergencies, which were dealt with by NWAS and NWAS HART personnel.
Bolton MRT went back to our Ladybridge Hall Base / HQ to wash down all vehicles, put kit out to dry and carry out some minor urgent repairs on kit damaged during todays responses.
We closed this incident at 01.00hrs in the early hours of Sunday 27th December 2015.
Over one hundred volunteer members of MRTs / SRTs had been involved in this incident, all giving up their Boxing Day afternoon and evening, indeed all present had actually been deployed elsewhere commencing from early or mid morning, so had seen little of their families on this festive day – we were all happy to turn out and assist our community in this time of need, where the threat to health and indeed life was all too apparent.
The following resources were directly involved at this incident during the ‘rescue phase’;
- Bolton Mountain Rescue Team; 23x operational members, 4x Land Rover Defender Mountain Rescue Ambulances, Ford Transit Minibus Ambulance, VW Crafter van based Incident Control Vehicle, 3.4m semi rigid inflatable SAR Boat, 6x large canoes.
- Oldham Mountain Rescue Team; 18x operational members, 2x Land Rover Defender Mountain Rescue Ambulances, Control Vehicle.
- Rossendale and Pendle Mountain Rescue Team; circa 9x operational members, 2x Toyota Hilux mountain Rescue Ambulances, 1x Land Rover Discovery Mountain Rescue Ambulance, 1x Control Vehicle.
- Peak District Mountain Rescue Organisation Regional Water Response Team; consisting of MRT members from Derby MRT 6x, Woodhead MRT 7x, Kinder MRT 3x, Glossop MRT 7x, Edale MRT 7x, each with a Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulance – five total, and Buxton MRT 7x, with a Mountain Rescue Crewbus Ambulance. PDMRO Water Team also deployed with 2x inflatable rescue sleds.
- Cheshire Search and Rescue Team ; 18x operational members, Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger Ambulances, Control Vehicle and Incident Support Vehicle, 1x inflatable SAR Boat, 1x inflatable rescue sled.
- (Total MRT / SART personnel involved; circa 103x)
- GMFRS; At least 2x Pump Appliances, 1x Water Rescue Unit Appliance and Rescue Boat from Eccles Community Fire Station, 1x Watch Manager and 1x Station Manager.
- GMP; Numerous Divisional Officers and vehicles, with Tactical Aid Units and vehicles, Senior Officers in the role of ‘On Scene Incident Commanders.’ Also present was Assistant Chief Constable John O’Hare and a Superintendent.
- NWAS Greater Manchester Area; 2x Emergency Ambulances and their crews.
- NWAS Hazardous Area Response Teams; 1x HART Team from Merseyside, 1x HART Team from Trafford Park.
- National Police Air Service; 1x Helicopter.