Isolation in Northland Robbie Silcock’s story
Isolation an issue in Northland Robbie Silcock’s story
Working in isolated areas can be dangerous. Robbie Silcock found this out when he fell two metres from scaffolding, smashing his leg on the deck on the way down. The accident took place at an isolated Mangawhai property, he describes as ‘off the beaten track’.
He lay in pain and rain began to fall. Robbie’s workmates were unable to move him; they reacted quickly, checked his vital signs and swiftly built a makeshift cover. With the temporary cover built, the injured builder and his anxious workmates awaited the arrival of the emergency services.
The ambulance arrived and the officers administered pain killers and created a splint for his broken leg. The thought of travelling along the bumpy, lengthy farm track used to access to the property, cattle-stop after cattle-stop, was too much for Robbie.
Robbie heard the thud of a helicopter in the distance. The dull noise of rota blades was not unusual as the owner of the property often used a helicopter to access it. As Robbie was lifted into the back of the ambulance, the thudding noise got louder and the helicopter came into sight, landing only a few hundred yards away. The helicopter (and the pain killers) provided much needed relief.
Once in the helicopter it was smooth flying. Robbie relaxed as he was hurried over the sea to arrive safely at Whangarei hospital.
Robbie said that what happened to him could have happened to anyone at anytime. Although his injuries were ‘painful to say the least’, the helicopter made his experience all the more bearable.
Accidents and isolation are a bad combination, which is why the Electricity Rescue Helicopter is an essential part of Northland’s health service. Robbie’s’ leg has healed but he still has some discomfort. He is however, reassured knowing that the helicopter continues to fly our skies and respond so quickly to those who need it.