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Northern NSW : Rescue Spring 2017
Paul Greene was taking in the wonders of the Barringtons on a midweek motorbike trip with his mate Richard Inglis in May last year before things took a slow turn for the worse. One of the views from Curricabark Road was so breath-taking, Paul slowed down to take it all in and missed seeing a significant rut across the road. He was going too slowly to traverse it, his front wheel locked into the corrugation, and he crashed heavily on the rough dirt road. “M y mobile phone was in an industrial case and when I crashed, it jammed into my front ribs and broke three of them,” he says. “And then the impact from the crash broke five more in my back.” His good mate Richard set off for a fire tower in search of mobile phone reception, but he ended up sending out a mayday call on the radio emergency channel. Two young rural workers were fencing about 20km away using the truck belonging to the head of the local SES, which was fitted with CB and UHF radio scanner. “T hey picked up the mayday call, reacted immediately, and also hailed down and alerted the mail contractor,” says Paul. Vandalism at the Taree substation had destroyed the landline connection for much of the remote area and the mailman and his offsider covered at least 40km before finding a farmhouse with a phone that worked, and rang triple-O. “T he young rural workers, the postman and his offsider, and Richard took turns resting my head for comfort and holding my arm away from my ribs to minimise possible damage to my lungs,” says Paul. “I’d been there for about three hours when we were told the ambulance was unable to reach the location. But our spirits were lifted when we heard a helicopter. Immediately I began to feel less damaged and more hopeful.” Unfortunately it was not the Rescue Helicopter. It was a crop duster. Where angels dare to fly “ When you hear the sound of the helicopter, your mind relaxes a little, you know you will be in safe hands.” Paul Greene reunited with Pilot Graeme Anderson and Aircrewman Glen Ramplin “I was going into shock and hypothermia,” says Paul. “Finally, we heard the ambulance, and then the Rescue Helicopter arrived at the same time. “W hen you hear the sound of the Rescue Helicopter, your mind relaxes a little, you know you will be in safe hands. When it landed near me, it was like the sound of an angel’s wings. I am sure many people would agree.” Paul has developed an appreciation of the skill of the pilots and crew after seeing them land with seeming ease in a treacherous location. “T he paramedic with the Rescue Helicopter was brilliant,” says Paul. “T he Gloucester ambos were equally amazing. Without the Rescue Helicopter, Pilot Graeme Anderson, Paramedic Adam Butt, and Aircrewman Glen Ramplin, as well as the Gloucester ambulance crew, I doubt very much I would be here.” RescueStory 3 Rescue Magazine SPRING 2017
Rescue Winter 2017