Sports retailer JD Sport recently donated £250,000 to MREW (MREW). As part of this, a request was made for some of its staff to be able to join a team for the day to see what we do.
The Teesdale & Weardale team were only too happy to oblige and so four members of staff from across the country, including one from head office joined us for our March exercise.
The exercise was at Cow Green reservoir and Meldon hill, not an unsubstantial hill at over 2500ft.
Two volunteer casualties, Linda Collins and partner Merv Stapleton from St.Johns Chapel in upper Weardale, along with a team doctor to oversee treatment provided, were duly driven along a shooting track adjacent to the Pennine way to a point only one mile from the point which would become the 'incident site', the remains of a small building known as Meldon Hall.
The weather was typical of March in the high Pennines, low cloud rolling in and out making visibility very poor at times and almost constant light to moderate rain providing a real test for team and clothing, but showing the staff from JD Sport the tough conditions in which we have to operate. By late morning more information had been gleaned on the possible whereabouts of the incident and the four JD staff where taken by landrover to a point approximately 1.5 miles away so that they could walk in and witness 'the find' and subsequent treatment.
The casualties were located by search dog 'Sam' and the rescuers moved in!
When checked by medics, one of our volunteer casualties was found to be genuinely mildly hypothermic and so was warmed up and walked off to the nearest Landrover. The remaining cas. was treated for a mid-shaft femur fracture, was given analgesia, had the leg splinted and was wrapped in a 'cas bag', 'vac mat' and loaded onto a Bell stretcher. Due to the wet conditions it was easy to 'skid' or drag the stretcher over the heather making the carry-out easier and smoother for all concerned.
At the after ex. debrief one of JD Sports staff remarked: "I thought I was fit, but you guys are like machines!"
There was also excellent feedback from our casualties who were very impressed with the level of care given. Everyone was cold, wet and very happy! A great way to end our winter hill training.