Full Day Joint Practice with RAF Leeming MRT

Sunday 19th March 2000


Photographs taken by the Whitehaven News on the day

Aims for the Day: 

1. General - Working and Leading with a mixed Team 

        To work alongside another MR team experiencing benefits and possible difficulties.

        To demonstrate to RAF Leeming MRT how the Wasdale Team operate, both as a team and how we work technically and safely.

        To learn something about how the RAF Team operate.

        To give others a chance of leadership. 

2. Safe Working - Personal and Group Safety Discipline 

        To practice working safely on steep and dangerous ground.

        To recognise the need for, and importance of, cordons around crashed aircraft.

        Use of safety lines.

        To understand the importance of personal and group safety.

3. Methodology - How the Team Operates and the part you play 

        Evacuation of casualty over difficult territory using the bell stretcher.

        To exercise the launching and recovery of the boat, embarkation and disembarkation of casualty.

 4. Technical - Use of Different techniques - Ropework 

        Setting up safety lines.

        Setting up five point belays.

        Practise stretcher lowering techniques and possible use of the marsupial technique.

5. Casualty Care - Treating injuries / handling casualties 

        To administer first aid and casualty care until safely back to the roadhead.

 6. Equipment - Use of stretcher and use of radio. 

        To work with the newly refurbished and upgraded bell stretcher.

        To exercise communications - using Channel 3

Exercise Scenario: (for briefing by RAW at 0910hrs.) 

        Tornado reported missing in the Lake District.  Pilot and navigator on board. No mayday message. 

        Smoke and debris high up on the Screes reported by early morning walkers.  

        Wind from the Northeast blowing down Wastwater. 

        Helicopters can't get into the Lakes due to high wind.  Wasdale relatively sheltered.

For planning purposes - (not to brief) 

1.      To establish a cordon and get the first group away quickly to set up safety ropes, the advance vehicles will go to the pump-house with the crash box.  RAF will take one vehicle and two people. 

2.      Plane wreckage on the scree right down to the lakeside, 300 metres to the north-east of the pumphouse.  The wind is from the north-east therefore all main personnel and equipment approaches / evacuations need use of the boat. 

3.      Advance group will cordon off the wreckage site and place a notice for hill walkers allowing them to pass (or have one of the RAF people / Wasdale people stationed there to provide safety cover for walkers). Respirators to be worn during this operation plus other personal protection as directed by the RAF. 

4.      Simulated parachute will be taken up onto the crag the day before - this will identify the location of the ejected pilot.  Injuries will be spine, neck, fractured femur and superficial cuts.  One of the RAF members can be volunteered during the practice.  Evacuation will probably be vertical stretcher lower onto the ramp using a barrow boy followed by up to two people on abseil to help get the stretcher down to the bottom of Great Gulley 

Note:  Youth Hostel and police to be advised that there will be an orange marker on the Screes plus an exercise taking place. - Action RAW on Saturday. 

5.      Second casualty (the navigator), will be located at the base of the crags on the screes somewhere on the other side of the boulder field, high up under the crags.  Once the main crag rescue is underway we will send out a search group to locate him - say a line search with 6 people.  We will send one team member out to position him/herself. Casualty will again have a suspected spinal injury plus a broken right arm.  We will only have a live second casualty if there are enough people out. 

6.    Exercise will finish when all casualties back at the road head. Wasdale Base will be Mobile 1 parked at the road junction or Cross Walls. Use channel 3 

7.    Exercise review will be back at Millforge aim for 4.30 p.m.


Wasdale MRT - Numbers not known but expect between 12 and 25 

Leeming MRT -           Party Leaders (fully Trained)             3

                                    Part Trained                                     1

                                    Novice                                             8

                                    Guests (junior ranks)                         2


                                    (all are comfortable on Crags)          12


At least 1 member is wanting to do his stretcher certificate (Bell)  

Cumbria Police -          Area Commander may send a couple of officers over on the day.  Chief Inspector , Emergency Planning and MRT liason at Carlton Hall, plus member of Penrith MRT believes it will be a good opportunity for the police to observe.

  Whitehaven News -    Reporter will attend from 10.00 a.m. at the Lakeside but there is an open invitation to come to Millforge at 0900hrs. to hear the briefing. Reporter will take photographs.  

Radio Cumbria -          Will come to Millforge Base for 0900 hrs and join us for the day. It will be good to get some advance publicity which may pull the crowds and give an  opportunity to raise money selling Yearbooks. 


All personnel to meet up at Millforge Mountain Rescue Base, Gosforth at 0900hrs. Sunday 19th March 2000.  We expect to be at the Lakeside where the two roads meet at 10.00 a.m. 

Duration:                    Should be complete by 1600hrs. - Exercise review at Millforge 1630 hrs.

Page updated 17 April 2000