A GRATEFUL walker has thanked emergency services who responded so promptly and treated her when she fell and broke her ankle on Dartmoor during the heatwave.
Michele Fairbrass was walking with her spaniel Fern at Princetown when she fell at Foggintor Quarry and fractured her ankle in two places. Thanks to swift action from the Tavistock branch of the Dartmoor Search and Rescue Group and a South Western Ambulance Service paramedic in a rapid response car, she was taken to acccident and emergency in Derriford Hospital.
The experienced walker, who rides horses and trekked on Dartmoor all her life, said the accident was a rare incident and to say thank you she will be raising money for the group which is funded only by donations.
Michele, of Ernesettle, was well prepared with water, walking boots and extra clothing in her rucksack when she fell on the steep quarry cliffs, but was stranded because she couldn’t stand and was on her own in pain. She managed to struggle a short distance to safer ground and called 999.
The Tavistock rescue group attended with their off-road vehicle and took her carefully and painstakingly up the precarious path and through a knee-deep bog by stretcher to transfer to a paramedic who treated her and took her to A&E.
She said: ‘Both me and Fern would like to say a massive thank you to all the emergency response teams who helped me. I don’t know what would’ve happened to me otherwise. Dartmoor mountain rescue you are amazing, I wouldn’t have got out of there without you, the paramedic who came to my rescue, all the emergencies who kept in contact with me via phone and to Derriford for taking great care of me. Also thanks to a lovely couple who stopped to help before the rescue.
‘I slipped on a rock on to my knee and my ankle went in a different direction. I thought I had just sprained it but couldn’t stand. Dartmoor rescue came very fast, they were amazing and so professional, kept me informed on everything they were going to do. I was put in a splint on a stretcher and carried out which was a very difficult task as narrow paths, then through some very boggy moor. They truly worked as a team. I was looked after by the paramedic who was also kind and professional and took me to the Derriford hospital team who were amazing, even though they are under unbelievable stress.
Dartmoor Search and Rescue Team Tavistock is inviting people to join either their 11-mile or five-mile 11 Tors Challenge on Saturday 17 September to raise their own funds. It starts and finishes at Princetown with a barbecue. Entries close on Wednesday, August 31. Book on www.dsrt-tavistock.org.uk or the group facebook page.