Jigalong rangers assist with a medical evacuation
A little while ago the Jigalong police came to the Jigalong ranger station seeking some help. A group of motorbike (and sidecar) riders had a problem 50 kilometers outside of Jigalong. As they were riding from Kumarina Roadhouse to the Talawana Track they encountered some heavy sand. One of the riders fell and badly broke his ankle.
The group called St John Ambulance on a satellite phone requesting emergency assistance. Andrew Hull, the police sergeant from Jigalong had a GPS point and wanted to use the rangers’ Ozi Explorer (mapping software) to pinpoint the location. The ranger team quickly worked out where they were on the Old Jigalong Road. However due to mis-communication about which Jigalong road the accident had happened on the Jigalong clinic's ambulance had already headed off along the Jigalong Road towards town.
The police wanted to clarify the exact location before the second clinic car departed. It was being dispatched to go and 'assess the patient' and advise if the ambulance - which was by now on its way back to Jigalong - was required at the accident site.
The ranger team explained that the road was in bad condition and there are a myriad of tracks around the area where the patient was located. It was advised that the clinic vehicle should take some Martu who know that area well to help them navigate through the country. Without hesitation rangers Kenneth Siddon and Kieran Cox said they would go to help.
The road was bad and the journey slow. However, Kenneth and Kieran led the clinic vehicle right to the patient. The patient was assessed as OK to travel in the back of the clinic car so long as the broken ankle was put in a splint. Once the patient was ready to travel it was obvious he needed to travel lying down across the back seat. This meant there was no room for Kenneth to fit in. Kenneth stayed with the other six riders until a lift could be arranged for him.
After the clinic vehicle departed the motorbike team and Kenneth worked out that if the load was taken off the patient's large Motocross bike then Kenneth could ride it into Jigalong. Kenneth was given a set of large boots and a sweaty leather jacket and he rode the bike back into Jigalong.
The riders were very appreciative of the help they received and complimented Kenneth on his skill in riding a big bike in the sand and thanked him profusely for his unreserved assistance. The riders commented that the whole experience was an unfortunate but amazing part of their journey.