Training exercise 21st Febuary 2015
The forecast for our regular monthly training exercise suggested that we’d have a nice dry morning, followed by “Severe upland gales” and snow. Otherwise known as “Character building conditions!
Our brief for the exercise was that contact had been lost from 2 casualties that were somewhere in the Sandy Heys area of Kinder, one casualty had tumbled and was injured.
Four hill parties were quickly dispatched, one each up Sandy Heys, and William Clough, and the remainder searched the area between. Seven months into their training, or probationers are now taking on roles within their hill parties during exercises to hone their skills such as handling comms, or navigation. They are also getting acquainted with the load carrying of all our kit up onto the hill! Their effort and commitment during their training is definitely appreciated by their team mates.
As the morning progressed, and our hill parties were beginning to converge on the crags under Ashop Head, a potential casualty site was spotted from above on the edge path, and the party went to investigate. Thankfully, as the weather was beginning to close in, we had found our exercise casualties.
All of our hill parties have at least one casualty carer, and as luck would have it, the party that found our exercise casualties happened to 3 fully casualty care trained members! They set about establishing the injuries our casualties had and began treatment as the remainder of the hill parties made their way to the site location to prepare for the evacuation. Only one of the casualties needed treatment, the injured casualty was loaded onto our stretcher to be carried off through the heavy snow which was now falling whilst her friend played a very convincing worried partner to keep us on our toes!
During the carry off, we were able to practice our stretcher handling skills, such as swapping stretcher parties, sledging the stretcher down moderately steep ground, and a rope assisted lower down a much steeper slope. All this, and a number of obstacles such as narrow bridges and gates had be crossed to get our casualty and stretcher back to the awaiting team landrover. After a return to base, a quick debrief,a warming cup of tea, and some kit sorting, our decidedly wet team set off home, or to the local pub to dry out in front of the fire and for much needed refreshment!