Child stuck on steep slope

Shortly after ten p.m. on Tuesday 12th May, call-handlers from Aberdyfi Search & Rescue Team were made aware of a child stuck on a steep slope. 

The 14 year-old vulnerable male had absconded from a residential facility in the Dolgellau area earlier in the day. The youth was followed by a number of carers and played "cat and mouse" with the pursuing staff, before ending up in an area littered with dense tree-felling waste.
As darkness fell, the child stopped running and settled on a steep slope. Carers were 20-30 feet away but unable to reach him because of the terrain. A short while later the boy reported that he had hurt his leg.
Team volunteers were able to access the scene and assess the situation. The child was able to walk on the injured leg, and the casualty party were walked out slowly through the timber debris. Everyone was safely back at the roadside by 1:15 a.m.

Graham O'Hanlon, who helped coordinate the Team's response, commented on the new challenges of operating during the lockdown. "In order to help protect the Team volunteers, bystanders and casualties in the current Covid-19 crisis, a number of new protocols now influence the way the team must respond to call-outs.

"Firstly, we try to reduce exposure by deploying the bare minimum number of volunteers required to resolve each incident. Social distancing is hard to maintain when attending to casualties or carrying a stretcher, so volunteers need also to be equipped with PPE suitable for working close to others, and once the job is completed all equipment and clothing needs to be cleaned. A process of symptom monitoring, both of casualty, bystanders and Team volunteers must then take place to identify any subsequent need for self-isolation. Each job has got quite a lot more complicated!"