St John volunteers carry out Devil’s Dyke rescue
Volunteer members of St John Ambulance
were involved in a dramatic rescue last night
after three men were injured while tobogganing at
Devil’s Dyke near Brighton, Sussex.
Support in the snow
St John Ambulance was supporting the
ambulance service by providing volunteers and 4x4 vehicles to get
through to those who needed them in the snow.
Andrew Tombs, County Ambulance Officer for
St John Sussex, who is also a full time paramedic and Dave House of
the charity’s Worthing unit received a call at
approximately 9.30pm on Monday 2 February requesting
assistance at the bottom of a steep slope where the three men had
landed after falling from their sledge.
The nature of the location made reaching the
men impossible from the top of the slope and so Andrew and Dave
were led nearly one mile cross country in their St
John 4x4 vehicle by the searchlight of a police helicopter until
they finally were able to reach the casualties and assess their
injuries, which were serious. Once they were considered to be in a
stable enough condition to be moved, all three men were driven up
the roadside by Andrew and Dave, where they were transferred to
South East Coast Ambulances and taken to hospital.
Speaking of the rescue, John Newman, Head of
Operations Support at St John Ambulance National Headquarters in
London, said: 'It's amazing the things people get up to in such
appalling weather conditions. Devil's Dyke is very steep and
therefore very dangerous. It was an excellent example of
collaboration between emergency services as we were led to the
scene by a police helicopter which is definitely not something
volunteers get to do everyday.
'Our best wishes go to the three guys and we
wish them a speedy recovery from their various injuries, although
we suggest they use their toboggan on a more gentle slope next time
and keep their sledging to daylight hours!'
During the chaos caused by the snow, St John
Ambulance volunteers from across the country were also busy
assisting the ambulance service by providing backup to their crews
and transporting medical staff between hospitals and surgeries.