Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Bushwalker reunited with his rescuers

Victorian emergency services personnel have been reunited with the man whose life they saved earlier this year.

Avid bushwalker, Michael Mai, was out walking when he collapsed after suffering a cardiac arrest in Buninyong Reserve in January. 

Paramedics managed to get to Michael but needed more “manpower” to get him out of the reserve and into an ambulance. 

They called upon Victoria State Emergency Service (SES), Country Fire Authority (CFA), Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) and Victoria Police. 

Buninyong-Mt Helen CFA captain, Gareth Smith was one of those called on. 

He said it was difficult to rescue Michael given the rough terrain and inaccessible nature of the area. 

Up to 20 emergency services personnel walked him out for an hour, with Ambulance Victoria working on him the whole time. 

Gareth was thrilled to learn Michael wanted to reunite with those who helped him. 

“It wasn’t the outcome we expected. Members, including myself, when we found out he wanted to meet us and thank us were amazed and happy to hear he’s doing so well,” he said. 

Mr Smith said the situation highlighted the importance of a multi-agency rescue, utilising the different skillsets from each agency for the best possible outcome.  

Michael has since made a full recovery and is grateful for the first responders that saved his life. 

“There were a lot of people involved, and I’m grateful to see them and say thanks face-to-face,” Michael said. 

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