Last weekend the Team was involved in a research project led by The Centre for Search Research and Newcastle University Business School. The research was designed to explore the effectiveness of searching on the ground and in the air.
Over two days our search groups and search dog, Tess, and her handler were put to the test on the ground searching routes and areas on the moors near Rothbury.
QuestUAV and Northumberland National Park Authority were involved in testing fixed wing and rotor drones to search a defined route and area, and the UK Civil Air Patrol used planes and a helicopter to search the same areas.
From an incident control perspective the research gave us a great opportunity to put some of our technology to the test in tracking search groups and accurately recording what had and hadn’t been searched. We also worked with QuestUAV to analyse the digital imagery produced from the fixed wing drone to locate the missing persons.
A highly beneficial couple of days with observers from Northumbria Police, the National Police Air Support Unit, Northumberland Fire & Rescue and the Coastguard.
The busy August continues with our eleventh incident for the month in the early hours of this morning. Northumbria Police contacted the Team and North of Tyne MRT for assistance in locating a female walker in her early 70s, who had failed to meet up with her husband at 21.00hrs, the previous night.
The female had been walking the Northumberland Coastal Path in sections and had set off from Belford to walk to Fenwick village late afternoon. She had walked the section to Belford earlier in the day.
After trying to locate his wife, the husband raised the alarm in the early hours. As our Incident Controllers were being briefed by the Police officers in Belford, the Police located the female on a drivable track in the woods near to the coastal path.
The walker had fallen sustaining minor injuries but due to the poor conditions overnight, she was also suffering from the cold. She was assessed and treated by a Team medic before being transported to hospital. We hope she makes a full and swift recovery.
The Coastguard helicopter from Prestwick had also been requested to assist in the search, but thankfully was not required on this occasion.
The Team along with North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team were called following reports of an injured climber with chest injuries at Peel Crag. Both Teams attended to support the Great North Air Ambulance. Following initial treatment on site Team members assisted with a stretcher carry to the waiting helicopter.
We wish the climber a speedy recovering.
The incident lasted 2 hours 20 minutes and involved 9 Team members.
Monday 8th August 2016, 15.15 hrs
The Team along with North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team were called by Northumbria Police to assist a walker with a lower leg injury on the Pennine Way above the College Valley. Fortunately for the casualty the MCA Rescue Helicopter from Prestwick was in the process of finishing a mission for the Tweed Valley Rescue Team and was able to collect the casualty from the hill. Two Team members located the rest of the party as they descended off the hill and with assistance from the Police escorted them back to their transport at Hethpool.
The incident involved 12 Team members for 3 hours.
The Team was activated by the North East Ambulance Service at just after midday for a female who had fallen 4 metres down a rock face at Hareshaw Linn waterfall near Bellingham. The female had sustained serious injuries in the fall, landing in the river and on rocks below the waterfall. Her family raised the alarm.
Alongside North of Tyne MRT, we responded immediately with three Landrover ambulances approaching from different directions. One of the Team members – a Paramedic with the Ambulance Service – was on scene quickly along with the Great North Ambulance Service. Soon after one of our Incident Controllers was on scene to assess the evacuation.
Whilst the NEAS Hazardous Response Team assisted the Air Ambulance crew with stabilising the casualty, we set up a technical rope rescue system to haul the stretcher from below the waterfall up to the bridge. From here we were hoping that the Coastguard helicopter from Prestwick would be able to winch the stretcher on board the aircraft. Unfortunately this was not possible due to the nature of the location and the stretcher had to be carried up a steep slope to the helimed.
A swift flight to hospital then followed. We hope the female involved makes a full and swift recovery.
A great team effort involving multiple agencies.
The incident involved 12 members for 3 hours 20 minutes.
Yesterday evening the Team was requested by the North East Ambulance Service to assist with the evacuation of a fallen climber. The climber had fallen 7m from the crags at Back Bowden Doors (or Dancing Green Hill on the OS map!), he had sustained a wrist and suspected back injuries.
North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team and ourselves responded, and working alongside the Great North Air Ambulance Service and the NEAS Hazardous Area Response Team, the casualty was stabilised and evacuated to the awaiting helicopter.
We hope the climber makes a swift recovery and is back out on the crags soon. This is the fourth incident involving a climber in as many weeks.
The incident involved 8 Team members for 1 hour 20 minutes.
Yesterday afternoon a climber fell approximately 10m on Peel Crag, landing on the boulders and uneven ground on the bottom of the crag. The climber sustained serious injuries from his fall and was treated and stabilised by a Doctor from the Great North Air Ambulance.
The Team alongside North of Tyne MRT and the North East Ambulance Service HART team assisted with the evacuation down the steep slope and across the uneven ground to the awaiting helicopter.
The climber was flown to the RVI for further treatment and we hope he makes a full and swift recovery.
A great multi-agency, team effort.
The incident involved 15 Team members for 1.5 hours.