Care on the Hill!

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A few things that might help. 

One or two Groups over the years have had incidents whilst out walking with completely different outcomes and method of rescue or assistance. For certain, none of us can plan what to do in an emergency situation as they are all different and never play out in the way we expect them to do.

So, if you are out on a walk please consider the following observations given in the hope they might be of assistance to you on the rare occasion that you might be able to offer assistance to a passer-by!

  • Take a mobile phone out with you. Leave it switched on. You can always put it on silent mode. If you are lost and alone, providing it is in signal it can be used to detect your location. You can now register your mobile phone number with the 999 Emergency Services for SMS text messaging. This service used to be exclusively for hearing and voice impaired persons. It is now open to all as it is generally accepted that a text message can sometimes get through when a voice message cannot. More information is available by following this link.
  • Never assume you are out of signal with a mobile phone until after you have attempted to dial 999 or 112. A 999 or 112 call is a "cross-network" call that seeks out all network signals. For example you might be on one network without a signal but dial 999 or 112 and it might be another network that transmits your call to the emergency services. If you are on "Pay-as-you-go" and are out of credit still make the call, as your phone will still connect. The call is free! If an emergency situation develops while you are out walking on your own or with a Group, think about the following as a suggestion. 
  • Don’t panic!
  • Make sure you personally are not in any danger before approaching a casualty.
  • If there is a First-aider in your party they will probably assist.
  • Call for help. Either you have to make the call if you are on your own or send someone to make the call. If you are on a road then dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Ambulance.
  • In any other situation ask for the Police. A grid reference will always be helpful!
  • Do not try and “second-guess” what is going to happen. It is better to dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Police. They will arrange the necessary backup with Ambulance; Air-ambulance; Coastguard or S&R Helecopter; the nearest Mountain Rescue Team.
  • They will ask for as much information as possible so a Grid Ref will be useful to have with you. What3words location is also very useful to have.
  • Continue to assist the casualty as much as possible.
  • Keep the remainder of your party together! It is very important to have everyone in one place particularly if it is cold; wet; coming to the end of the day where light is fading.
  • Wait for help to arrive.
  • Follow the instructions the emergency service gives you. They have a much better idea of the problems and an overview of the situation when carrying out a rescue procedure. 
  • It is in situations like the above that the survival bag; 1st aid kit; the extra chocolate bar; and that old pair of gloves and hat in the bottom of the rucksack come in handy. Putting the waterproof jacket on (even if it isn’t raining) can keep a winter’s chill at bay while waiting for help. 

Let’s hope you never have to consider any of the above while out for a walk!

There's a very useful APP at the St John's Ambulance website that you can download to your smartphone. Once downloaded, the basics do not require an internet/mobile data signal to work. Very useful utility!

An APP called what3words is also available to download to your smartphone. This APP gives every 3m x 3m square a three word name. This APP (providing you have a phone/3G or 4G signal) will give a quick and accurate location to the emergency services who use this software. To view on-line follow the link above.