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.
Know your abilities and limits, as well as those of the people you are going with.
Be prepared by knowing the weather forecast and also prepare for it to change.
Think about the equipment you carry, take what you both need, and may need should there be an emergency or accident.
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.
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!
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.
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.
WHAT IF I NEED HELP
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.
Dial 999 or 112 and ask for Police, then Mountain Rescue. The operator will ask for the following:
- 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)
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 https://www.emergencysms.net to register)
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.
WINTER CONDITIONS, SNOW & ICE
- 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?
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.
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.
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.
DON’T FORGET TO HAVE FUN!
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.
We've put together a short series of videos to help you enjoy the outdoors safely...
What to take with you
Basics of using a map
Respect your surroundings
Things you'll see
How to get help
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.
Advice on climbing and mountaineering skills can be accessed here (click the logos):