EARLIER this month, Yarram SES members responded to a call for help from a person trapped under a tree at Blackwarry.
The multi-agency response involved four SES volunteers in a rescue truck, with added assistance from a support vehicle.
An injured man had been lying under a fallen tree for two hours, on uneven ground under thick canopy.
Local CFA crews, along with Victoria Police and Ambulance Victoria personnel in a four-wheel-drive mobile intensive care ambulance (MICA), eventually located the man.
The crews worked to free the patient from the fallen tree, placing him on to a spine board, a stretcher, and finally through a narrow gate at the top of a steep hill – delicately passing the stretcher out to the other side – to the waiting MICA.
“The CFA crew got the tree off his leg and the paramedics were already in attendance when we arrived. It was a great effort all-round,” SES Yarram volunteer and registered nurse, Tim Waugh, said.
“I would remind the public to let somebody know where you are, so if you don’t turn up when you’re expected, we can send out a search party.
“If no one had known he was there, he might have been in trouble, but someone knew he was there.
“A good first-aid person is as good as a nurse in situations like that, where you can’t give a pain relief or, if they’re trapped, you’re supposed to wait for a paramedic.”
After the rescue, SES Yarram Unit volunteers went back to clear the road, returning to the unit at 6pm – five hours after their initial dispatch.
The rescued man, David Vaux, is Emeritus Professor of Molecular Biology at Walter and Eliza Hall Medical Research Institute, recently retired after a 30-year career researching the causes of cancer.
His research contributed to the development of a lifesaving cancer drug, which is used to treat patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
His contribution to science was acknowledged when he was awarded the Order of Australia in 2017.
“You know in the old Western movie, when you hear the bugle from the cavalry and you know everything is going to be okay?” Emeritus Professor David Vaux said.
“That’s how I felt when the angels from VICSES, CFA and paramedics called out to me, as I lay under a fallen tree with cracked ribs, sternum, vertebrae and bilateral hemopneumothoraces!”