Twenty-two-year old Jamie Burns, who has cerebral palsy, was recently on holiday with the Disabled Ramblers Group, when he and his mobility scooter were called into action as a recue team.
The Disabled Ramblers Group were exploring the rough tracks of the Poldice Valley on their all-terrain mobility scooters, when they heard a cry for help. Paul Lane who was also holidaying in Cornwall had been walking alone with his dog when he slipped and fell on the 12th May. He tried to scramble down to a pathway below but due to his injuries became stranded in an area of scrubland.
After hearing his cries for help, a number of walkers accompanying the disabled rambling group scrambled up the hillside to find the injured man. Group leader John Cuthbertson explained: ‘He was hidden by trees and so took some finding. Paul said that there was the sound of a crack from his leg when he fell. He had tried to crawl to the track but couldn’t make it.”
Despite a patchy mobile phone signal, the group contacted the emergency services, using their GPS devices to give them an accurate location. However due to the poor weather, the air ambulance and search and rescue helicopter based at Newquay were grounded by fog and it was impossible for an ambulance to reach Paul over the rough terrain
So the rambling team stepped into the breach, radioing for their support trailer. University graduate Jamie Burns attached a trailer to his Tramper off road mobility scooter and made his way up the sheer hillside to Paul.
On his arrival members of the group, helped by paramedics who had arrived, helped Paul onto the trailer. Jamie then began the perilous descent back down the hillside to the path on his mobility scooter where Paul was then taken to hospital by the paramedics.
Jamie commented: ‘It was a really rough track down the hill, so it was a bumpy ride for him with lots of rocks to negotiate. The ambulance crew wedged his leg with bags and some of the walkers with us steadied the trailer with ropes.”
The Disabled Ramblers (www.disabledramblers.co.uk) gets mobility-challenged people out into the countryside. Ramblers use all-terrain mobility scooters on more challenging routes, or shopping buggies and powered wheelchairs on gentler rambles.