Mountain rescues put paramedics through their paces

2014-11-06 00:00

PARAMEDICS of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) had their fitness put to the test on Tuesday when they had to hike up mountain ranges to attend to patients in two isolated incidents.

In the first incident, in the Pepworth area near Ladysmith, a team of farmworkers were repairing a fence on a mountain top when one of the workers slipped and rolled down the side of a steep hill.

After he tumbled for about 25 metres, he landed on a metre-wide ledge, balanced precariously above a 25-metre drop.

The helpless man was not able to go anywhere until paramedics arrived and came to his rescue.

EMS spokesperson Robert McKenzie said the rescue team had to hike several kilometres up the mountain to the top of the cliff where the man had fallen.

“They set up a rope-rescue system, and one of the rescuers abseiled down to the man. The patient was then lifted to the top of the cliff in a rescue stretcher.”

The man had sustained only minor injuries and decided he did not want to be taken to hospital.

In a separate case on the South Coast, paramedics responded to a 47-year-old man who had been hiking on a trail in the Oribi Gorge area.

McKenzie said that paramedics walked about one kilometre along the trail to find the patient, who had collapsed while he was hiking.

Family members in the small group who were hiking together had performed CPR on the man up until the paramedics arrived.

Unfortunately, the man was declared dead by paramedics after they had assessed him.

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