Candidate's daughter rescued after accident(June 07, 2009)
A MAJOR rescue effort was needed by the emergency services to get a teenager to hospital after injuring herself while enjoying a carefree time in the woods on the outskirts of Westbury.
The quiet day that her father Paul Macdonald was enjoying after the hard work that took him to second place in the local council elections just 24 hours earlier was quickly changed on Saturday afternoon.
"I got a call the father of one of Debra's friends saying she was in real distress at Wellhead Drove, and that an ambulance had just been called." said Paul.
He found his 14-year-old daughter being tended to by Jeff down a very steep sided drop to the stream beside a rope swing hanging from an overhanging branch.
Her friend Fiona with others were waiting in the narrow lane to lead the emergency services to the spot hidden in the woods
A nearby policeman was organising the response on his radio.
The paramedic arrived moments later and quickly established that her ankle had been broken when she fell off a swing.
Debra had smashed her left foot against a fallen branch as she landed in the stream.
A major rescue operation was launched with specialist fire service 'rope rescue' teams from Trowbridge and Chippenham joining three fire crews, two first response paramedics, an ambulance crew, two fire service officers and a police car.
"Amazingly, there was already a major incident just yards away involving the police when Debra came to grief," explained Paul. "It must have been the fastest response time ever!"
The rescue lasted just over one hour with ropes being secured to a tree at the top of the slope which winched Debra on a special stretcher to the footpath above guided by specially trained fire officers.
Debra was taken to Bath's RUH by ambulance where she is now awaiting an operation on her injuries.
"Thank you to everyone," said Debra. "It was amazing. I could not believe it when I saw all those firemen. Everyone was so nice."