Paramedics hampered reaching car surfer

PARAMEDICS unable to drive their ambulance to the top of a car park had to spend two hours getting a teenager with a serious head injury to hospital.They were called to the Parkway multi-storey car park in Bury St Edmunds after the youngster was injured in a “car surfing” prank.

PARAMEDICS unable to drive their ambulance to the top of a car park had to spend two hours getting a teenager with a serious head injury to hospital.

They were called to the Parkway multi-storey car park in Bury St Edmunds after the youngster was injured in a “car surfing” prank.

But after finding they were unable to drive the ambulance to the eleventh floor to treat the 17-year-old, paramedics had to carry life-saving equipment up to the top.

They then had to sedate the teenager, who had fallen from the bonnet of a black Ford Escort, strap him to a spinal board and take him back down again before he could be taken to hospital.


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The whole process - from arrival to dispatch - took an hour and 50 minutes.

A second factor in the delay on Wednesday, paramedics claim, was the “combative” nature of the patient as a result of his head injury.

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Once he reached street level, the 17-year-old was transferred to the East Anglian Air Ambulance and flown to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.

Daimon Wheddon, an East Anglian Air Ambulance paramedic, said: “It was quite a difficult job because we could not get the land ambulance up the levels because the car park is only built for cars and small vans.

“So everything had to be ferried up and he was taken down on a spinal board to street level. He had to be anaesthetised.

“Lorries and vans cannot go in multi-storeys like this. An ambulance is a large van and there is no clearance.”

St Edmundsbury Borough Council defended its car park, saying the floors were above the industry standard, the building was equipped with lifts and adding that the structure has won two safety awards.

A spokesman said: “Anyone who needed medical attention while on the upper floors of the multi-storey would normally be taken to an ambulance in the lift.

“However, these circumstances were exceptional and because the patient was on a spinal board, he had to be taken down the car park's ramps.

“The multi-storey is a building and not a road, so getting medical help to someone on the eleventh floor of this building is no different to ambulance crews attending an incident in the eleventh floor of a block of flats.”

A second 17-year-old was arrested in connection with the incident and released on police bail.

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