Carrying his cell phone while off-roading helped a West Kelowna man get medical attention after he became pinned under his ATV and a fallen tree.
Just before 12:30 p.m. last Friday, 911 received a cell phone call from a man who was only able to yell for help briefly before the call was lost.
However, dispatchers were able to find out who the phone was registered to and called the man’s house and learned from his wife that he had gone quadding alone near Hayman Lake on the MacDougall Creek Forest Service Road.
A full-scale search was launched for the 70-year-old West Kelowna man, and included police officers on ATVs, the RCMP helicopter, RCMP dog services, West Kelowna Fire Department, search and rescue crews and local residents on their personal ATVs.
Searchers found the man’s vehicle at the end of Bartley Road and the RCMP helicopter soon located the man after 911 dispatchers were able to hear the helicopter’s siren during a subsequent phone call with the man, said Const. Steve Holmes.
Local quadders were the first to reach the man, who had become pinned under his ATV and a fallen log, approximately four kilometres off an unmaintained side road.
They lifted the ATV and log that had trapped the man and provided first aid until police and fire personnel arrived, said Holmes.
The man was brought to the fire department’s four-wheel drive vehicle and transported to a waiting ambulance, which took him to hospital with suspected serious spinal and bone injuries.
“Ultimately, the lucky man suffered only bruising and soft tissue injury and is now home convalescing,” said Holmes.
He said a potentially tragic situation was averted by the man’s presence of mind to bring his cell phone and use it, as well as letting his spouse know where he was headed.
If there is one lesson, said Holmes, it is to not go ATVing alone.