The Cessnock District VRA Rescue Squad was called to a single vehicle accident on George Downs Drive near Bucketty at 9.20 am Sunday 1st. The vehicle was travelling south when it left the road on a bend and rolled down an embankment, trapping the male driver and his son in the rear seat.

Upon arrival at the scene the driver had freed himself, however he was still in the vehicle comforting his son who remained trapped. The rescue operation was very complex due to the precarious position of the vehicle and the way the child was trapped. The vehicle had come to rest on its roof approximately three metres down from road level. The driver’s side of the vehicle had collided with a tree, preventing it from continuing down the steep and rugged embankment. However whilst rolling down the embankment two tree branches penetrated the vehicle, one initially trapping the driver by the legs with the second trapping the child in the rear seat. The rugged terrain, the heavy rescue equipment and the complex nature of the rescue all combined to make a difficult extrication.

Upon stabilising the vehicle, Rescue personnel used hydraulic cutters to remove the rear hatch and a section of the rear seat. A battery powered saw was then used to cut the branch that was trapping the child; this was done from both outside and inside the vehicle. The child was freed from the vehicle after approximately one hour of delicate rescue work.

Upon being released the child was further assessed by Paramedics and along with the driver appeared to have suffered only minor injuries. Both were flown to the John Hunter Hospital by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter for further precautionary assessment. Due to the remote location and reports of multiple persons being trapped the Central Coast VRA Rescue Squad was also activated, with both units working as a team to complete the complex operation.

George Downs Drive was closed to all traffic either side of scene for approximately three hours throughout the rescue operation and to allow for the vehicle recovery and Police to investigate the cause of the accident.

Rescue personnel were responded to another collision on Wine Country Drive at 6.15 am Wednesday 4th. Two vehicles collided near the intersection of Lomas Lane with reports of one occupant trapped. Upon arrival of Police at the scene it was quickly determined that although injured the occupant was not trapped and the Rescue units were called off en route.

At 5.30 pm Wednesday 4th Rescue personnel were responded to the Masonic Village at Kurri Kurri following reports of a roof collapse. Due to the lack of information and possibility of serious injury and/or damage all services were responded to the location. Upon arrival of emergency personnel it was established that a roof mounted fire sprinkler had failed causing a large section of internal ceiling to become water logged and collapse onto the floor. Due to the amount of water lost from the system before it was isolated extensive flooding resulted through one section of the facility. All residents and staff were immediately evacuated from the damaged section, slightly shaken by the experience but with no injuries reported. Emergency personnel ensured the area remained safe, whilst facility staff organised alternative arrangements for displaced residents.

The recent warm weather has resulted in a constant stream of calls to snake sightings throughout the district. As stated previously, if you see a snake DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CATCH OR KILL IT, call 49912444 immediately and if possible maintain a safe distance and monitor the snake’s movements as this greatly increases the chances of a successful capture.

The Cessnock District Rescue Squad would like to remind everyone to exercise care when on the roads to ensure a safe new year. Also a reminder to all local businesses about the Business Sponsorship scheme, in which you receive recognition for your support of the Rescue Squad through quarterly advertisement with The Advertiser. Anyone interested or wishing further information about the Business Sponsorship scheme can contact me on the number listed below anytime.


Cessnock District Rescue Squad

Public Relations Officer

Jason Sattler

0458 039 588