Friday, March 28, 2014

Mountain rescue a real possibility

Where we were. My helmet was removed for the photo only
We finally arrived yesterday at Cradle Mountain in Tasmania. In the pouring rain, which was not part of the plan, and given the sunlight pouring in the window this morning, was uniquely focussed on our visit.

Jeff Woodward, Cradle Mountain Park Ranger, had gathered together park National Park folk from various parts of the State with a strong focus on rescue. The TrailRider sat in the corner while we discussed the vexing, and expensive, problem of severely sprained ankles out there on the tracks. A typical rescue scenario involves difficult and dangerous, for the bearers, stretcher trips or even a helicopter.
Mountain rescue specialists get the feel of the
chair - indoors to keep dry

For the first time ever I saw an economic argument for a TrailRider - the cost of one or two current rescues would pay for a TrailRider. It could happen pretty soon.

People really got the point when they sherpa-ed me, under consummate sherpa Rodney Brooke's guidance (I had introduced my engineer friend as Australia's most experienced sherpa) , around the Visitor Centre. They went up and down a flight of steps - much easier than they expected. 

Along the way there would be the means for wheelies to be guided along some tracks in one of the most beautiful spots in the world. I was - despite the rain - Ros, Rodney,Joanne and Ranger Jeff took me around the enchanting Enchanted Trail.


  1. Great news.... going to share this with our local Search and Rescue team too. You're a huge step ahead... very impressive on how much promotion you are doing with the TrailRider and the awareness you are bringing to so many. I really love hearing how your equivalent of Parks & Recreation (British Columbia - Canada) are embracing the TrailRider and the impact it's making on the lives of others. We know the impact and therapeutic benefits it has on our riders and sherpas. Being out in nature is calming, relaxing and do-able. Thanks Dave for all you are doing to promote this. We in Powell River are continually inspired and very proud of our programming where we bring volunteers and riders together. Our slogan "Strengthening friendships and building new ones ..." is doing just that!. We have the paths of people crossing where they may never have crossed before. People meeting each other off the trails and now have budding friendships growing within our community. It's exciting, positive and extremely rewarding. I hope you're able to get similar projects going over there.... it's a win win. Stay well my friend........ CC - PRMOS, Powell River, British Columbia, Canada

    1. It is so true what you say about bringing people together, although I don't get to see it so much as my disability keeps me, relatively, in the back room.

      We are starting to see how every chair has to be accompanied by a "Chapter" of the Sherpa Volunteer Program (SVP) so that the more isolated user can get out there. On the 12th of April we are going to the Grampians for the first roll out of the sherpa training that John Kenwright has put together. If that goes well we'll work our way round the chairs

  2. How exciting! Hard track to manoeuvre?

  3. This comment came by email from Stephen Hunter at Sam Sullivan Disability Foundation
    in Vancouver who bring the TrailRider to the world.

    "I have talked to the folks that do mountain rescue about the TrailRider as a vehicle to take injured hikers to safety. It is not workable for them. The injured hiker especially if it is a suspected back injury has to be stabilized a flat preferably horizontal position. The TrailRiders does not recline so the rider is in a horizontal let alone a straight position."

    He has added:

    "The next iteration [of the TrailRider] will probably not include a modification for a prone position. It would then become a medical device and the government would require the TrailRider go through all kinds of testing."

  4. Hi Dave

    As mentioned, State Emergency Services in Victoria (SES) and Search and Rescue people might also be interested in the Trail-rider where-ever there are tracks and board walks. Warm regards


    1. I think this is definitely a suggestion worth pursuing.Thanks for the idea Terry


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