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Emergencies in mountainous and remote areas are complicated due to the difficulty the emergency services experience in accessing the injured; life and limb can be saved by being prepared.

  • Ensure First Aid equipment is available within the group

  • Be prepared for the emergency and have spare clothes to wear whilst providing emergency treatment or waiting for rescue

  • Speak about emergencies and medical conditions. These conversations help to prepare the group for an emergency

  • Consider attending a first aid course to better prepare yourself

  • I really like one of the Norwegian Mountain Safety Rules, especially: "Bring the necessary equipment so you can help yourself and others"

Cloudy Day

01

Stay Calm and make sure everyone is safe

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02

Can you cope?

Do you need help?
 

Image by Priscilla Du Preez

03

Calling for help in the mountains

  • Ensure nobody else gets injured

  • Consider finding shelter i.e. group shelter

  • Assess the scene. What has happened? What injury's might they have?

  • If the injury is minor and with some effort evacuation is possible; then carry on.

  • If the injury is more serious or evacuation is not possible then;

    • Identify your location*

      • Grid Reference of location, failing that;​

      • Rough description of location "half way along Striding Edge"

    • Make sure you can be found 

    • Stay where you are!

*Be cautious with What3Words. It is useful if you have great signal and if you roughly know where you are but can't explain to someone else. Of 22 call-outs involving what3words locations in the Lake District during early 2020, 18 were accurate but 4 were way out. In some places, this can mean a different summit or valley altogether – maybe even a different rescue team’s area!

  • Call 999 or 112

  • Ask for "Police"

  • When Police answer ask for "Mountain Rescue"

  • Provide them with:

    • Location (with a grid reference if possible)

    • Name, gender and age of casualty

    • Nature of injuries or emergency

    • Number of people in the party

    • Your mobile phone number.​

  • Now stay put! Don't start moving as you will make it hard to find you​

 

 

You can also send an SMS to 999, but you need to be registered on the system beforehand.

  • To Register:

    • Text Register to 999 and follow the instructions.

  • To send an SMS message to 999​

    • Step 1 - Which service, what is happening, where is it happening​

      • e.g. "Police, Mountain Rescue. Man unconscious with head injury from falling from height approx 7m. Location: Kinder Downfall, near Edale. Grid Reference SK0824/8884​"

    • Step 2 - Now send the message to 999​

      • It can take around 2 minutes for an emergency responder to message you back.

        • Do not assume your message has sent until you get a response.

        • Continue to try other methods to raise the alarm.

        • If you have not had a response after 3 minutes, send the message again. 

Image by Tom Jur

04

Providing First Aid

If you call for help then first aid advice will be given by the 999 operator.​

  • Provide care in-line with your level of training

  • It may be appropriate to improvise with your first aid kit due to a lack of equipment

  • Protect the casualty from the elements

  • Ensure the casualty is warm and dry

  • Re-assure the casualty

  • Continue to care for the casualty and check that they are breathing until help arrives. In  the mountains this could be hours!

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