Wodonga Council

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New signs play crucial part in rescue

17 Nov, 2021

A local man who required emergency services to rescue him from regional parkland in Wodonga is encouraging others to keep an eye out for new signage in case they also need help.

Peter Steineker was enjoying a routine mountain bike ride at West Wodonga’s Hunchback Hill recently, when he lost control of his bike and tumbled down a steep embankment on the ‘Rock and Roller’ track.

“It turned into a rescue mission,” he said.

“All I remember is going over the handlebars and hitting my back and the pain.

“I was lucky I had my son with me who has done first aid and he called Triple-0.”

Ambulance Victoria Wodonga Team Manager Mike Fuery responded to the incident alongside a team of paramedics, SES, CFA and Fire Rescue Victoria-High Angle Rescue members.

After championing an initiative earlier this year through a multiagency partnership with Wodonga Council to install new signage along the parkland, along with SES to obtain a specific item of equipment, he said it was rewarding to witness the system work seamlessly for the first time.

“The new gate signs are located within Klings Hill reserve and allow park users to provide emergency services with a more accurate location if they require assistance,” Mr Fuery said.

“It was great to see the new signage in action because the way paramedics were able to locate Peter in this case was a quick and easy process.

“It’s a big area and visitors to the park should take note of these new signs which state the different gate numbers of where you’re accessing the tracks.”

The multiagency initiative, which included new marked maps and the park gate numbering system, also saw the local community raise funds for a “mule” – a new single-wheeled stretcher which assists the SES to extricate patients from remote areas.

Mr Fuery urged all park users to keep a lookout for the new signs at the various gates alongside the parkland to help them know where they are in relation to the wider area.

“We want to let the community and other park users know that we now have this system in place because just like in Peter’s case, you never know if you might need emergency services,” he said.

Peter, who was taken to hospital and is now recovering after the incident, also encouraged other park users to look out for the new signage.

“Anything that helps emergency services find you in case of an emergency is a good thing,” he said.