Tuesday 3rd May 2016 – 3.45pm – Murray MacGregor.
It was a bank holiday and unsurprisingly, raining and cold. Not really ideal conditions to get two patients slipping and breaking their ankles deep in a wooded beauty spot. However, that was the situation facing ambulance crews yesterday.
The service was called to the Bluebell Woods off Stratford Road in Wootton Wawen near Henley in Arden at just before 2.00pm on Monday afternoon.
The first patient, a woman in her 50s was quite some distance from the nearest road and on a steep embankment.
The paramedic from the rapid response vehicle that was sent was taken to the scene in a 4 x 4 vehicle.
The woman had a fracture / dislocation of her right ankle. Despite back up from an ambulance, a community first responder and a paramedic area support officer, the conditions were sufficiently treacherous that the Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) was requested.
The extra hands allowed the woman to be lifted up the slope safely before being taken to a 4×4 ambulance that had managed to negotiate the mud and rain to get to the top of the embankment. It took the woman to University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire.
While the staff were working on this case, they were made aware of a second patient who had also fallen and broken her ankle about 5 minutes walk away in the same woods.
The HART team used their 6×6 Polaris vehicle to access this patient, so difficult were the conditions. She was transported back to a land ambulance which took her to the same hospital.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “Once again, the value of having a 4×4 ambulance has proved its worth. Being able to get that far into the woods would have been impossible in a normal vehicle.
“However, even it would have struggled to get to the second patient. Thankfully it was no issue for the Polaris so we didn’t have to manually carry her out.”