The Westpac Rescue Chopper stops at Grafton Airport on the way to taking a National Parks and Wildlife Service firefighter who collapsed while fighting fires near Jackadgery. Photo: Frank Redward.
The Westpac Rescue Chopper stops at Grafton Airport on the way to taking a National Parks and Wildlife Service firefighter who collapsed while fighting fires near Jackadgery. Photo: Frank Redward.

Firefighter winched from national park in serious condition

A NATIONAL Parks and Wildlife Services officer has been winched out of a remote location near Jackadgery by helicopter while assisting with firefighting efforts.

Just before 3pm, the Westpac Rescue Helicopter was taken to reports that a 52-year-old man had collapsed in the Jackadgery area and was reportedly in cardiac arrest.

Aid was provided by firefighters on scene before emergency services arrived.

A NSW Ambulance critical care paramedic was winch inserted into the location, where the man was stabilised.

On arrival on the scene, the patient was conscious after effective CPR had been administered.

He was stabilised before being winched from the location by the rescue helicopter.

He was transported to Gold Coast University Hospital in a serious but stable condition.

The incident is the second in two days for the helicopter service over northern NSW foregrounds as an 18-year-old RFS volunteer was winched from foregrounds near Tamworth.

The volunteer firefighter was hit on the head by a falling tree branch, and after a doctor was winched to his remote location around 7.30pm on Wednesday night.

The man was stabilised before being taken by helicopter to Tamworth hospital in a stable condition.

Fire activity increased around the Jackadgery from the Kaloe Mountain Trail fire, before conditions stabilised towards Thursday night.

The NSW Rural Fire Service said a significant back burning operation began in the Ramornie area in an effort to limit the fire's spread to the north and east. This back burn was undertaken south of the Gwydir Highway in the area between the Mann River and Ramornie Forest Road. It is expected to continue throughout the night and into tomorrow.

The Gwydir Highway will be closed between Bald Knob and Jackadgery from 6am Friday morning to allow critical back burning operations to occur. This closure is expected to be in place for at least 48 hours.



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