Mountain biker rescued with C-spine injury

Date published: 11 November 2014

Rossendale and Pendle Mountain Rescue Team (RPMRT) callout shows the importance of the specialist training and equipment held by our mountain rescue teams.

On Sunday 9 November at 4.11pm RPMRT's pagers went off, a 59 year old mountain biker was in need of the teams help near Calf Hey Reservoir.

Armed with a grid reference the team set off the casualty was found 15 minutes later due to the quick thinking of his friends shining their lights to guide the team in.

The information given to the team members attending was that the casualty had gone over his handle bars landing on his head - he heard a crunch and was in severe pain.

With the Team Doctor in attendance the patient was given pain relief and treated as if his neck was broken.

A more thorough examination of the casualty was then carried out, no more injuries were highlighted.

The casualty was carried using our specialist equipment - a vacuum mattress which keeps the casualty completely still and onto the all terrain stretcher (the Bell stretcher).

A very slow, methodical carry off was then underway. The team carried the casualty to the awaiting ambulance, the Team Doctor travelled with the casualty in the NWAS ambulance to hospital to keep continuity of care.

There it was discovered the casualty had suffered from C-spine injuries that could have well been life threatening if he hadn't received the level of care shown by the team.

The team train often for this kind of scenario and this callout really emphasises the importance of the team, the training and the specialist equipment that is held by RPMRT.

Team leader Pete Goble said: “Working in partnership with NWAS we ensured the safe treatment and transport of this injured mountain biker. His injuries would have been a challenge to any ambulance crew but the added complications of the area, the position of the injured patient and the difficult terrain the team had to carry him over makes all the training worthwhile. Some of the specialist equipment was bought using money left to the team from bequests.”

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