Reporter: Gillian Potts
Date online: 06 February 2013
A SNOW-bound pensioner with pneumonia has praised a knight in fleecy armour for saving her life.
Sandra Riley had to call an ambulance when she felt ill — but it couldn’t get down the steep road to her Haggate Crescent, Royton home in the deep snow.
Paramedics decided she had to go to hospital, but couldn’t get her to the ambulance — so called in Oldham Mountain Rescue Team.
Team volunteer Mike Porritt arrived in his snow-busting Land Rover and carefully carried the 69 year old into the 4x4 to drive her up the hill - to the waiting ambulance.
But her ordeal didn’t end there: the ambulance later got stuck in snow and had to be dug out by two of Sandra’s neighbours!
The incident happened during last month’s snow. After a four-day stay in hospital Sandra is now on the road to recovery.
But her anger over her home being cut off hasn’t thawed a bit.
“It’s disgusting the way no one comes to clear the road,” she said. “It’s the same every year; we’re all elderly and we’re stranded when it snows.
Sandra has nothing but praise for her rescuers: “It was traumatic,” said Sandra. I was struggling to breathe and my husband called the ambulance. When they couldn’t get down the hill I was scared.
“When they said they’d have to phone mountain rescue I couldn’t believe it! It’s good job he came otherwise I would have been dead. He and the paramedics were absolutely fantastic.
A chuffed Mike told us: “We hope Sandra is feeling better. It’s standard when the emergency services have difficulty they call us and we’re happy to help. It happens predominately in remote and wilderness areas, but sometimes we’re asked to help out like this. It’s nice they appreciate us.”
Councillor Dave Hibbert, cabinet member for housing, transport and Planning, said “Haggate Crescent is a cul-de-sac with a grit bin at the end of it — we are doing as much as we can with the resources available. Overnight on January 25 we received a significant amount of snow that would have required more than just grit to clear.”
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