Paramedic and ambulance dug out of snow by TV star

Norfolk astronomer, author and BBC Stargazing Live co-presenter Mark Thompson.

Norfolk astronomer, author and BBC Stargazing Live co-presenter Mark Thompson. - Credit: Archant

A paramedic heading to an emergency call was rescued by a TV astronomer after becoming stuck in snow.

Astronomy broadcaster, author and co-presenter of BBC Stargazing Live Mark Thompson was called out to help after answering an East Anglian Ambulance Service appeal for people with 4x4 vehicles to be on call to help get paramedics to places in bad weather.

The paramedic had become stuck near to Fressingfield in north Suffolk after responding to a call amid heavy snow on Sunday.

Mr Thompson, who lives in nearby Harleston, said efforts to help had been hampered by other vehicles that had become stuck on impassable roads. 

“I got a call at about 8pm, annoyingly just as I’d got in the bath, because a paramedic had got stuck after his car had gone off the road near Fressingfield,” he told Radio Norfolk.  

“By the time I got near another member of the public had got their car stuck so I spent the best part of an hour trying to shift them out of the way which involved lost of digging and a tow rope to be able to get to the paramedic only to find he had gone in an ambulance with a patient to hospital.”

Mr Thompson then discovered the ambulance had also got stuck. He was able to help it become free on its journey to hospital.  

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The paramedic was later returned to his vehicle. “I finally got him out of the ditch and back on to the A140,” said Mr Thompson.

The return to Harleston which normally takes 20 minutes then took three hours due to the worsening conditions.

He said: “There were so many impassable roads and cars that had tried and got stuck. While that is annoying for the individuals involved it also poses problems for ambulances and the emergency services crews trying to get through.” 

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