DEBERT – Fast action and mutual co-operation by emergency responders is being credited with saving the life of an Onslow-area man struck down by a falling tree on Saturday.
“They saved his life,” said Debert resident Barbara Pratt regarding her father-in-law David Pratt, of the actions of the Onslow-Belmont Fire Department, paramedics and RCMP officers who arrived at the scene.
“He had two punctured lungs and it was by their quick response and everything that he was saved.”
As of Monday, Pratt said her father-in-law was under medical care in the intensive care unit of the QEII Health Sciences Centre in Halifax.
Besides the punctured lungs, he also has broken ribs, a broken leg, a broken shoulder blade and cuts on his head.
“He was laying on the ground. He was trapped under the tree,” she said. All you could see was his face.”
Pratt said the incident occurred as post-tropical storm Arthur tore through the area Saturday morning.
“A branch had fallen and he had gone out to investigate to make sure it didn’t hit his mother’s house,” she said.
In the process, David Pratt’s hat blew off his head, she said, and when he went to retrieve it, the rest of the tree “pretty much come down on top of him.”
And while time “seemed to stop” for awhile as family members looked on, in reality “they were very quick” as the three groups acted as one to free him as quickly as possible.
“Even the police officers were helping move branches and stuff trying to clear the area. Like, they were very helpful,” she said of all involved. “And they were physically hands on,” she said of the police officers, in assisting the fire department and paramedics.
“So everybody deserves recognition.”
The emergency officials were also “very informative with us,” she said. “They tried to keep everybody calm. They jumped right in to help as much as they could to save his life.”
And while Pratt has a “long road to recovery,” she said, he will eventually be OK, thanks to those who helped.
“Myself and the family, we feel that the fire department, police and ambulance deserve the recognition.”