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North Palm Beach Surf Life Saving Club members provided critical support in a recent emergency medical evacuation, assisting paramedics locate and treat a man having a cardiac episode on the Barrenjoey Headland, Palm Beach. 

Just after midday on Tuesday, 29 September, North Palm Beach SLSC received a call from NSW Ambulance requesting assistance to access the Barrenjoey Headland. Club President Graham Howard and Life Member Robert Cox were at the clubhouse and immediately deployed the club’s all-terrain vehicle (ATV).

“The path from the car park up to the lighthouse on the headland is really narrow. There’s no way a police or ambulance vehicle can drive up there. The only way to get people and first-aid gear up there is with the ATV”, said Rob Cox.

Rob met Fire and Rescue NSW and Ambulance NSW teams at the base of the headland and transported several paramedics and a firefighter in the club’s ATV to Barrenjoey Lighthouse where they located the critically ill 50-year-old man.

The man had been walking on the headland when he suffered a medical episode.

The man was evacuated from Barrenjoey Headland in the ATV and transported to a waiting ambulance where he was diagnosed as having a severe heart attack and was transported to hospital.

“Without our ATV, it would have been a six to eight-person job to stretcher the patient and the medical gear back down the hill to the ambulance,” Rob Cox said.

The incident demonstrates the increasing involvement volunteer surf lifesavers are having in emergency responses on the NSW coastline – on and off the beach.

“With more people going to the beach and bushwalking during the COVID-19 travel restrictions, we are expecting it to be like George Street on the track up to the lighthouse this summer. We’re making sure our ATV is always ready to respond if requested,” Rob concluded.

Photo Northern Beaches Advocate


Friday 2 October 2020