Thursday, 8 October 2009

6ins water ‘too risky’ for paramedics

A MAN laying in six inches of water with a broken back was refused help by a paramedic - over health and safety rules.

The jobsworth insisted colleagues were trained only for land emergencies.

Bystanders floating dad-of-three Brian Bendle in the ankle-deep water had to slide a spinal board under him themselves and carry him to ambulancemen just 6ft away.

Brian, 45, had been injured waiting to take a jetski out on a lake at a water park. Another jetski hit him at 50mph.

One onlooker said: "The paramedic wouldn't treat him.

Two colleagues arrived in an ambulance but he stood in their way and told them, 'I'm incident commander - you aren't getting into the water.'

"The ambulancemen were pleading with him. I reckon a good ten or more minutes were wasted."

Steve Cox, 47 - who runs Middlemoor Water Park in Woolavington, Somerset - said: "The first bloke insisted they had to wait for the fire brigade. He kept saying, 'Health and safety won't let me get in.'"

Brian, from Bristol, is now in intensive care in Taunton.

An ambulance service spokesman said fire crews were trained for water rescues and added: "The incident was managed in accordance with procedures."

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