Do any immediate First Aid that is necessary. Stop any bleeding by
applying clean dressing and bandaging firmly. If the patient is unconscious,
make sure that he is not choking with his tongue blocking the back of his
Make the patient as comfortable as possible and treat for shock. Keep him
warm, putting spare clothing etc. as insulation underneath him. Warm sweet
drinks should be given to those who are conscious and suffering from
exhausation or exposure. Never give drinks to anyone with chest, abdominal or
head injuries, or any injured patient who may be transported to hospital
quickly and put under an anaesthetic. If a long carry of many hours is
expected, then warm sugary drinks may be a life saver in case of shock and
when no morphia is available.
Give the International Alpine Distress Signal - six blasts on a whistle (
or six shouts or flashes of a torch) followed by a pause of a minute then a
repetition of the six blasts, shouts or whistles. Keep giving this signal
system. If your signals are eventually heard you should hear an answering
whistle - three blasts followed by a pause of a minute, repeated several
times. If by any chance your whistle or torch is missing and your voice
doesn't carry because of wind, you can wave a white or coloured cloth.
If your signal does not produce assistance, one (or two if possible) of
the party must go down and contact the Police or the nearest Mountain Rescue
Post. You should already be familiar with these. The messenger must carry and
give the following information concerning the accident:
Exact position, giving six-figure grid reference or,
if this is not feasible, as much information as possible to enable a rescue
party to go straight to the injured person. If a rock-climbing accident, he
must know the name of the cliff, the route and the pitch, so that the rescue
party will know whether to approach from the bottom or the top.
Time of the accident.
How many people are injured.
Nature of the injuries.
If the injured person has to be left alone whilst
you fetch help, first give him all your spare clothing to keep him warm. If
his injuries permit, move him to a good sheltered position, otherwise erect a
wind-break around him. It may be many hours before a rescue party reaches him,
the weather may worsen and he may easily die of shock and exposure in the
meantime unless you take very careful precautions.
If he is conscious, reassure him and leave him a
torch and whistle with which to guide the rescue party to his aid. If
unconscious, belay him to a rock if possible to prevent him from falling
farther or from wandering off in a dazed condition if he gains consciousness.
It is wise to leave a cheering message before you leave him in case he should
regain consciousness. If possible mark the position of the patient with a
bright piece of clothing and, if you possess a rope, lay it out in a long line
so that a party may come across it. A cairn of stones will be better than no
position mark at all.
When you have done everything possible for the
patient, go and fetch help, descending quickly but carefully.