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Second mountain rescue in days

IT took nine firefighters, an ambulance crew and the help of several climbers to bring a 74-year-old man to safety after he fell during a morning walk on Mount Coolum last week.

A climber called for help when he saw the man lying high on the mountain with minor leg injuries, chest pain and broken ribs from the short fall.

Crews scaled the mountain to launch the rescue as the emergency helicopter was tasked to other jobs.

Local resident Brian Tierney was brought to safety by a stretcher more than two hours after calling his wife, Judy.

Mrs Tierney said her husband had been out for an early morning walk by himself when he fell.

“I knew he was all right because I spoke to him, but I didn’t know the extent of it until I got up there.”

Mrs Tierney said a young Brisbane man with medical experience had helped crews during the rescue.

“It was wonderful having the new ambulance station at Mount Coolum,” she said.

The rescue was the second performed within a week, with a 44-year-old man rescued by helicopter days earlier after he fell and suffered a suspected broken leg.

Maroochydore fire station officer Archie Andrews said the rescue was more difficult without access to the rescue helicopter.

Mr Andrews said Maroochydore and Coolum crews had worked well during the 45-minute descent to the base.

“It would have been quicker and easier, but we knew the helicopter wasn’t an option,” Mr Andrews said.

“It is a team work thing, and every one performs a vital link.”

The patient was taken to Nambour General Hospital for treatment.

Peregian Beach resident Ralph Kemp helped ambulance officers carry equipment up the mountain.

Mr Kemp said it took “just one second of inattention” for even experienced climbers to slip.

“I remember reading a report that said Mount Coolum was an easy 30-minute walk, but this is anything but easy,” he said.


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