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All in a days work for the Devon Air Ambulance Crew

Added on: 11 March 2011

6102 Adrian Parker July 2009You  never know what you might get sent to when you turn up for a shift on one of Devon’s Air Ambulances and  paramedics  Adrian Parker and Paul Robinson, together with pilot Steve Rush had just one of those days on 11 March 2012.

At 1506 hours the Air Ambulance was deployed by dispatcher Paul Holmes  from ambulance control within 3 minutes of a 999 call being received, to a man suffering cardiac problems, in Hooken Cave, near Beer Head in East Devon.  

As the helicopter arrived at scene, it was obvious the closest landing site was at the top of the cliffs, with the cave some way below.

6111 Steve Rush July 2009Adrian Parker, paramedic recalls ‘It is one of the most unusual jobs that I have undertaken during my time on the Devon Air Ambulance.  From the air, we help the pilot decide on the most suitable landing site,  not only to reach the patient as quickly as possible, but also the safest place for the crew and the surrounding landscape.’

He added ‘Paul and I, complete with our kit bag of equipment and drugs, which weighs approximately 30-40 lbs, made our way to the base of the cliffs, a distance of over half a mile.  We then had to climb 50-60 ft using ropes, in order to reach the mouth of the cave.  The gentleman was obviously in great discomfort, suffering from a suspected heart attack.  We were able to administer essential treatment including oxygen and pain relief. 
Paul Robinson - Paramedic
We stabilised him and were grateful to receive the help of colleagues from Chivenor, whose winchman joined us and transported him to their aircraft, flying him directly to the RD&E Hospital, Wonford, Exeter, where the specialist cardiac angioplasty team were awaiting his arrival.’

This rescue shows just how versatile the service is offered by the Devon Air Ambulance, and how working in partnership with the other emergency services including the search and rescue team at Chivenor is essential in order to offer the best possible patient care, at a time of need.

Photo of Adrian courtesy of 

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