Helpful advice

A quick look at our Callouts page will show that the majority of the casualties we deal with in Rossendale and Pendle would not consider themselves walkers or climbers. There is plenty of excellent advice online, for those who want to go into depth about climbing, mountaineering or hillwalking - we suggest you explore the websites given below if you need this level of information.


1Plan your day

Know your abilities and limits, as well as those of the people you are going with.

2Check the weather

Be prepared by knowing the weather forecast and also prepare for it to change.

3Take what you need

Think about the equipment you carry, take what you both need, and may need should there be an emergency or accident.

4Dress appropriately

Both in regards to the weather and activity, the most expensive equipment is not required, but having suitable and appropriate equipment for what you are doing certainly is.

Sun cream and a sunhat, or a warm hat and gloves can very easily both be used on the same day!

Wearing the Correct footwear can prevent unnecessary injuries, slips trips and falls.

5Knowledge is power

Having the skills required, for whatever activity is vital, practice in a progressive manner to ensure you don’t jump in at the deep end if you do not yet know how to swim!

6Let someone know

Let someone know where you plan to go, and when you plan to return, but also what to do if for any reason you do not return as expected.

7Using your phone

Ensure you have a phone with sufficient charge (ideally full before you leave).

Yes technology can fail, but it can also be a life saver if you have signal and charge when there is an accident or emergency, the faster that call is made, the sooner help can be arranged for you.


1What to do first

Ensure everyone is safe and removed from additional danger, work out where you are, use either a grid reference or app such as OS Locate or What Three Words.

If you find someone else in trouble, do what you can and call for help, do not put yourself in any additional or unnecessary risk.

2Calling for help

Dial 999 or 112 and ask for Police, then Mountain Rescue. The operator will ask for the following:

  • Location
  • Casualty Details
  • Emergency/accident details
  • The number of people involved in the incident
  • Your phone number (and then leave this line available with signal for MRT to contact you)
3What if there is limited signal / have disabilities making phone calls?

If done beforehand you can text the 999 service, but you must register - as above start the text “Police, Mountain Rescue” and provide as much detail as possible. (Visit to register)

4Carry a whistle & torch, no matter the activity or time of year.

A whistle travels further than shouting, 6 sharp blasts on a whistle (or flashes of a torch) repeated every minute is the international distress signal – f you hear a response (3 blasts/flashes) continue to repeat until help is with you.


1Both out and about as well as on the road please consider:
  • Is the journey necessary?
  • Do I have a plan if I get stuck or cannot return?
  • Do I have appropriate equipment and supplies with me?


1Food and Drink

No matter what you plan to do, you need to make sure you have ability to ensure you can rehydrate and also maintain energy levels throughout the day.

Keep energy levels topped up.

Stay hydrated and make sure you have enough fluids for the whole day.

2Hill Walking

Take a map and compass but please know how to use these. Being able to give an accurate location, or even get yourself out of a dangerous situation in bad weather - using a map and compass is a fundamental skill to hill walkers, no batteries required! GPS and apps on phones are great, but when it is cold, wet and everything is going wrong you can bet that the battery will be running out too!

Waterproofs will both keep you dry, but also stop the wind which can get you cold very quickly even on a sunny summers day.

Carry a spare warm layer, just in case there’s a need for you to stay out longer than planned, maybe you are helping someone else who has had an accident? But the last thing you need is to get cold and become a casualty yourself.


Have the correct skills, knowledge and ability for what you are planning to do. Use appropriate protection and seek professional guidance if needed.

Check your own and even your partner’s equipment, knots and belay set-up before climbing.

4Water Safety

Don’t jump into water, sometimes it can be unclear how deep the water is or there may be hidden obstacles. Water Kills.

Avoid open water, even on hot days -cold water kills.

If you fall into water, fight your instinct to swim until cold water shock passes; relax and float on your back until you can control your breathing - FLOAT! RELAX! GET ON YOUR BACK! - Cold Water Kills.

Wear PPE as appropriate and if on a motorised boat or craft that has a kill cord – use it!

Be extremely cautious near any weirs and locks.


Flood water contains contaminants, drain water, oil, fuels, sewerage – why would you want to be in that?!

Flood water can have strong undercurrents that cannot be seen, and can easily be fatal.

Fast flowing water, even if only just above your ankles is potentially enough to wipe you off your feet and may stop you from being able to stand back up.


We want people to be able to get outdoors, explore nature and the environment around Rossendale and Pendle and enjoy it as much as us, but we hope this advice will guide you to think about actions you take, ensure you are prepared and equip yourself with the appropriate knowledge and skills to look after yourself and be able to comfortably know what to do should you have an accident or emergency and need to call for help.

Advice videos

We've put together a short series of videos to help you enjoy the outdoors safely...

Series introduction

What to take with you

Basics of using a map

Respect your surroundings

Things you'll see

How to get help

Herbert Protocol

The Herbert Protocol is a national scheme introduced by the police in partnership with other agencies to encourage carers to compile useful information which could be used to help locate a vulnerable person if they go missing.

The initiative is named after George Herbert, a war veteran of the Normandy landings, who lived with dementia. George Herbert died whilst 'missing', trying to find his childhood home.

Learn more

Useful links

Advice on climbing and mountaineering skills can be accessed here (click the logos):

MREW performs a number of functions on behalf of teams and their members.

Be Adventure Smart: Make your good day better.

Keep safe on the hills with The BMC.

What's the weather going to be like?

GetOutside was founded by Ordnance Survey, to help more people to get outside more often.

Up to date news and features from the outdoors.

Climbing news, skills tips, kit reviews and even a crag finding database.

Work out the difference between true north, grid north, and magnetic north?

An inititiave to help the Police and other agencies find vulnerable missing persons.