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A big thank you to those who helped in the big freeze

Press release - 6 January 2010

The adverse weather proved no match for South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Trust staff when they helped to ensure the safe delivery of a baby in Crowborough this morning.

Crowborough staff Julie Carr and Kate Forster were called to attend to a woman who was in labour with her fourth child at 6.35am this morning (6/01).

The 34-year-old woman was planning to have a home birth but due to the adverse weather the community midwife team were unable to attend.

An ambulance was called but due to the difficult road conditions, the ambulance became stuck in snow. 

 In an attempt to overcome the problem, staff in the Kent control centre called the Crowborough birthing unit to establish whether the patient could be transported to the unit instead of Pembury Hospital.

With the arrangements put in place, the crew jumped on to a 4x4 vehicle and attended to the woman and took her to the birthing unit.

In another incident in Tunbridge Wells, crews were called to attend to a man in his 50s who had collapsed outside his home at 8am.

Two ambulances were sent to the scene.  However, when the first crew arrived they asked the second crew to remain at the top of the hill in case they were unable to make the return journey back up the hill.

Technician Stuart Jordon said: “We had some excellent support from members of the public who were carrying out CPR when we arrived.  

“We took the decision to advise the second crew to remain at the top of the hill just in case we couldn’t get back up the hill and in fact three quarters of the way up the hill, we started to slip but thankfully members of the public came to our aid.  We had 10 to 15 people pushing the ambulance up the hill.  We would just like to say a huge thanks to all those who helped.”

Unfortunately, the man who collapsed died on arrival at hospital.

There were also many more examples of people helping including members of the public volunteering to assist the council to help clear access and salt the entrance to Midhurst ambulance station, 4x4 companies offering use of their vehicles and Subway offering sandwiches to crews free of charge – a big thank you to everyone.

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