A tree surgeons recovery

I had a ride in a helicopter

Tree surgeon in air ambulance

It all happened so fast, from being 100% confident I was secure, to falling 30ft out of the tree. It’s scary to think that I had time to think before I hit the floor.  I had enough time to shout out, to say some choice words and also to think “what have I done”.

I remember the impact as my body came crashing to the deck, the surge of pins and needles that ran down my legs was intense. I was in shock, not from the fall but trying to think how I had done it. Thoughts of how I managed to fall kept going round in circles in my head. The expression of shock and confusion was apparent on my face, so my friends say.

The initial surge of pins and needles wore off a little, I could feel my legs and more importantly I checked to make sure I could wiggle my toes. The relief of being able to wiggle my toes was comforting. As reassuring as that was, I had no urge to get up.

My friends and first aiders on site asked me to stay in the same position as I had landed. It seemed that no time had passed when the paramedic came on the scene and was checking my vitals, everything seemed in order other then pain in back. He radioed through to request a helicopter to get me to the nearest trauma unit, because of the height of the fall he didn’t want to take chances.

The Air Ambulance team were soon on the scene and getting me sorted. Confirming what the paramedics had established they started to position me so I could be transferred to the helicopter. However, they first had the task of getting my climbing harness and chainsaw trousers off. After establishing that scissors weren’t going to cut it they pulled out the “sternum cutters”. Having trousers cut off was a new experience for me, I’ve always thought that if I had an accident you want to be wearing decent underwear, thank goodness that i’d chosen wisely for that day. Although, this seems very insignificant now having experienced things yet to come, which I will come too in later blogs.

I could get over my chainsaw trousers being ruined, but it was hard to think about a harness been cut, the lads did their best to try and save it but it wasn’t going to happen. They transferred me onto the helicopter stretcher, supported my head and I was ready to be moved.

Ive always wanted to go in a helicopter but I never expected to go in one this way. I was secured, I said goodbye to the lads and the door was slid shut. The engines of the helicopter were started and we slowly started to lift off the ground. I was on my way….I was put on the back of my friends Toyota Hilux to be taken to where the helicopter had landed which was not far.  One of the Air Ambulance support jumped in with me. It didn’t seem long until the Hilux stopped and I was carried into the helicopter.

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