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When David Brocklehurst slipped on icy rocks and sustained a head injury on the moors above Hathersage in the Peak District he was airlifted to hospital by Derbyshire Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance (DLRAA).

The skill of the pilot who landed the helicopter between the rocky outcrops, the care and medical attention provided by the paramedics and the speed at which he was flown to the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield made a lasting impression on David.

He will never forget the experience and now uses it as the basis of the talks he gives to local community groups in his role as a volunteer speaker for the charity.

Retired business trainer, David (70) was out with a dog walking group he runs within Chesterfield U3A when the accident happened on 5th December 2012.

It was a frosty day and they had stopped for a coffee when David slipped and hit his head on a boulder whilst taking a photograph of the group.

The appearance of a large lump on the side of his head worried the group’s first aider who phoned the emergency services.  Edale Mountain Rescue Team responded to the call and when they arrived at the scene they treated David and erected a shelter tent around him.

By now there was a real concern that David may have suffered a bleed on the brain so the air ambulance was called. It took just 10 minutes for the helicopter to transport David to a park near the hospital where a land ambulance was waiting to take him to A&E.

Due to the icy weather that day there were lots of other injured people waiting to be seen and it was three hours before David was given the all clear by doctors and allowed home.

Realising how the speedy transfer to hospital could have saved his life had his head injury been more serious, David was keen to thank the air ambulance for coming to his rescue.

He sent the charity a donation in a thank you letter, was invited to visit the DLRAA base at East Midlands Airport and shortly afterwards started helping out with bucket collections and emptying collection tins in and around Chesterfield, where he lives.

David’s professional experience of running training courses meant he was also ideally placed to become a volunteer speaker and this May it will be five years since he gave his first presentation on behalf of the charity.

He says:

“I am very pleased to have the opportunity to give something back. The air ambulance is a wonderful service and there are so many real-life stories of people who wouldn’t be alive today if it wasn’t for DLRAA and The Children’s Air Ambulance.”

“Being rescued by the air ambulance and subsequently meeting the people involved, learning about what happens at base and the cost of running the charity really opened my eyes and made me appreciate what a vital lifesaving service it provides.”

About 11% of our rescue missions are to falls or similar incidents.

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