The team had to put in place coronavirus protocols during the incident. Photo: Aberdyfi SRT

The team had to put in place coronavirus protocols during the incident. Photo: Aberdyfi SRT

Rescuers in Snowdonia were called out to bring to safety a teenager who was stuck on a steep slope.

Aberdyfi Search and Rescue Team put in place its coronavirus protocols during the incident on Tuesday.

The team volunteers were alerted shortly after 10pm to help the boy to safety.

An Aberdyfi SRT spokesperson said: “The 14 year-old vulnerable male had absconded from a residential facility in the Dolgellau area earlier in the day.

“The youth was followed by a number of carers and played ‘cat and mouse’ with the pursuing staff, before ending up in an area littered with dense tree-felling waste. As darkness fell, the child stopped running and settled on a steep slope.

“Carers were 20-30ft away but unable to reach him because of the terrain. A short while later the boy reported that he had hurt his leg.”

The spokesperson said team volunteers were able to access the scene and assess the situation. The child was able to walk on the injured leg, and the casualty party were walked out slowly through the timber debris.

Team members and the casualty were back safely at the roadside by 1.15am on Wednesday.

Graham O’Hanlon, who helped co-ordinate the team’s response, said operating during the lockdown presented challenges.

“To help protect the team volunteers, bystanders and casualties in the current Covid-19 crisis, a number of new protocols now influence the way the team must respond to call-outs.

“First, we try to reduce exposure by deploying the bare minimum number of volunteers required to resolve each incident. Social distancing is hard to maintain when attending to casualties or carrying a stretcher, so volunteers need also to be equipped with PPE suitable for working close to others, and once the job is completed all equipment and clothing needs to be cleaned.

“A process of symptom monitoring, both of casualty, bystanders and team volunteers must then take place to identify any subsequent need for self-isolation. Each job has got quite a lot more complicated.”

Original lockdown regulations and numerous rights-of-way closures still operate in Wales, though people can now take more than one outing to exercise each day.

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