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Rescue teams put through paces in exercise

Section:  Annan and Eskdale, Dumfries and West, Lockerbie and Lochmaben, Moffat  | Tags: , ,

MOFFAT Mountain Rescue Team held its annual joint-exercise at the weekend.

Over 60 rescuers took part in the event in the Moffat hills over the two days, coming from Galloway Mountain Rescue Team, Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue Team, Borders Search and Rescue Team, Scottish Ambulance Service, RAF Leeming Mountain Rescue Team, Police Scotland Mountain Rescue Team, Police Scotland Search Advisers and Scene of Crimes Officer, Police Scotland (Dumfries and Galloway Division) and Scottish Fire and Rescue.

The Saturday scenario involved a minibus that had rolled off the A701 and come to rest in the bottom of the Devil’s Beeftub.

Thirteen occupants of the minibus and two walkers were injured and had be rescued.

This involved lowering cutting equipment, usingmountain rescue stretchers and helping the fire and rescue service access the van to release a trapped passenger.

Others scoured the hillside to locate the other occupants of the minibus, played by trainee paramedics who had volunteered to role play as casualties for the day.

Then on Saturday afternoon a new scenario was injected when a helicopter with six occupants onboard went missing over the Moffat Hills.

The search area was too big to execute a ground search and an aerial search had not found the missing helicopter.

This meant the search was stood down overnight with the teams allowed to have a rest and receive a presentation of dealing with downed aircraft by the RAF.

The next morning the team was joined by Coastguard 199 helicopter from Prestwick.

While some personnel were deployed by road led by RAF Leeming and the Police Scotland MRT, the rest were taken by helicopter onto the hill tops.

After a short search the missing helicopter was located and it became clear that it had collided with a paraglider who was now also missing. Once all the casualties were located, stretcher evacuations took place from various locations across the hillside.

Shaun Duignan, teamleader of Moffat Mountain Rescue Team, said: “We would like to thank all the agencies who came to help in the joint exercise.

“It was valuable for Moffat team and the others to work together to rescue the casualties and valuable to work alongside our emergency service colleagues to understand the different approaches we may need to take in a major incident such as the two over the weekend.”

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