‘Don’t take vital rescue service for granted’

David Taylor and his son, Alexander Taylor, 5, after the accident.
David Taylor and his son, Alexander Taylor, 5, after the accident.

A Rothbury man has praised the air-ambulance service which came to his aid after a sickening farm accident , describing it as a necessity for rural communities.

David Taylor was constructing cattle troughs last month when a 1,200kg panel fell from a JCB and landed on his leg, pinning him to the ground.

A local rapid response paramedic was first on scene, before the Great North Air Ambulance Service was alerted.

When they arrived, the trauma team administered pain-relieving drugs and airlifted him to Newcastle’s RVI for further treatment.

The farm worker had sustained a broken tibia as well as multiple fractures to his leg, ankle and foot. He underwent an operation and remained in hospital for 11 days, but is now recovering at home on crutches.

Eight weeks on, the 35-year-old is having physiotherapy every other week as well as regular check-ups at the RVI.

The father-of-one said: “Without the speedy service and dedicated team, who knows what the outcome could have been.

“My foot had lost its pulse and I needed help quickly.

“I still have a long way to go, but I’m just so glad things weren’t far worse.

“An ambulance can take a long time to get to rural areas and this is why the air ambulance is so crucial.

“I would encourage everyone to support it. I hope they continue to serve the people of Northumberland for many years to come.”

David said that he remembers most of the incident up until the journey in the air ambulance.

While he was in a lot of pain and shock, he said that he was trying to stay focused so that he could get his leg out as there was only one other person there.

“The first responder wanted me off the ground as soon as possible, because of the bleeding and to get the circulation going again in my foot,” he said.

“If it hadn’t been for the air ambulance, my whole outcome could have been very different.

“I would have had a bumpy ride in an ambulance down to the RVI, taking another 40 minutes or so.

“Instead, my leg was plastered, the doctors had stopped the bleeding and because of that I’m at home now with a leg that still works.”

And he is urging everyone to support this vital service.

“It’s something that people take for granted, but it’s a big necessity,” he said, adding that you never know when you or someone you know might need it.

His reminder comes as north Northumberland is set to lose its Search and Rescue cover provided by RAF Boulmer, as the service is privatised.

A £1.6billion contract with US-owned firm Bristow Helicopters Ltd is due to come into effect in April 2015 and run until 2026.

Twenty-two helicopters will operate from 10 locations around the UK, with the nearest to north Northumberland at Humberside or Glasgow and coverage also provided from Caernarfon in Wales.