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Hero farmer tows ambulance out of snow drift

PUBLISHED: 18:15 01 March 2018 | UPDATED: 11:14 02 March 2018

Farmer Jamie Florence, 20, borrowed a tractor from work knowing what the conditions were expected to be like this morning. Photo: Jane Florence

Farmer Jamie Florence, 20, borrowed a tractor from work knowing what the conditions were expected to be like this morning. Photo: Jane Florence

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A farmer has been branded a hero after he towed an ambulance out of a snow drift in a tractor he had borrowed from work.

Snow and stranded vehicles in Hempnall. Photo: Zak NelsonSnow and stranded vehicles in Hempnall. Photo: Zak Nelson

Jamie Florence, from Hempnall, spent three hours getting to work in Gissing after repeatedly stopping to help stranded strangers.

The 20-year-old came across the ambulance stuck in a drift outside Cherry Tree near Pulham and, with the help of a police escort and a ratchet strap, managed to pull it to safety.

He said: “I had borrowed the tractor from work because I knew what the weather would be like and when I came across people who were stuck I had to help them.”

Over the course of the day Jamie pulled several cars back onto the road and even gave another man a lift home.

20-year-old Jamie Florence spent Thursday rescuing strangers who were stranded in the snow. Photo: Courtesy of the Florence family20-year-old Jamie Florence spent Thursday rescuing strangers who were stranded in the snow. Photo: Courtesy of the Florence family

“The A140 was closed,” he said. “So I took the back roads and there was a man who had been driving his van for seven hours and just couldn’t get anywhere.

“He said he lived in Hempnall so I said I’d give him a lift.”

Once he got home a lorry driver then asked Jamie for help but unfortunately the ratchet strap broke.

Jamie added: “I didn’t think it would work because that is not what they are technically supposed to be used for.”

Farmer Jamie Florence started his day by rescuing an ambulance from a snow drift outside Cherry Lane, near Pulham. Photo: Jamie FlorenceFarmer Jamie Florence started his day by rescuing an ambulance from a snow drift outside Cherry Lane, near Pulham. Photo: Jamie Florence

The straps are typically used as fasteners for tying down and securing cargo during transport, however they proved to have a successful alternative use for the farmer.

His mum, Jane, said: “It has been a remarkable day and we are extremely proud.

“Jamie is very modest and he doesn’t want praise.

“He said: ‘I was just doing my best, mum.’

As the A140 was closed the farmer took the back roads to get to and  from work and came across various people in need along the way. Photo: Jamie FlorenceAs the A140 was closed the farmer took the back roads to get to and from work and came across various people in need along the way. Photo: Jamie Florence

“He’s our hero - what a little star.”

The A140 remained closed for the majority of the day as the wind caused snow to blow into the road.

Police issued warnings for people to stay away from the area however several vehicles had already got stuck.

People took drinks to those stranded on the road while local landowners and farmers used their tractors and JCBs to help the police free some of the vehicles.

Farmer Jamie Florence also attempted to pull a lorry out of a drift near his home in Hempnall, but the strap broke. Photo: Jane FlorenceFarmer Jamie Florence also attempted to pull a lorry out of a drift near his home in Hempnall, but the strap broke. Photo: Jane Florence

The A140 remains closed.


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