A ROOFER who was left hanging unconscious after a 480 volt electric shock surged through his body has helped raise money for the charity that flew to his aid.
Ivan Laidler, 54, was thrown from a roof in Rennington, near Alnwick, by a power surge 15 years ago. Only his harness saved him from plunging to the ground.
The Alnwick builder, of Aydon Crescent, was flown to Wansbeck Hospital by the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) in a move which saved time, and possibly his life.
He said: “My heart was racing so much I could have had a stroke and I needed to get to a hospital quickly.
“It’s an excellent service. Although I was not badly injured, I could have been, so it was important the service was there.
“I was told by the electricity board that 99.7 per cent of people either die or are badly injured when they suffer the same shock as me, but I am one of the very lucky 0.3 per cent.”
Old cladding round cables had worn away, leaving live wires exposed. When Mr Laidler touched them, the electricity raged through his body.
Mr Laidler was picked up by the air ambulance from Alnwick Rugby Club. Remarkably, despite the massive voltage, Mr Laidler, who runs his own company, escaped with minor injuries, including the two red marks where the charge entered and left his body.
The Federation of Master Builders (FMB), which Mr Laidler is a member of, recently raised money for the cause. FMB Berwick and Morpeth branch president, Peter Sample, and Sunderland branch president, Jeff Rowe, along with branch members and guests, presented £350 to the air ambulance that was raised at a recent darts and dominoes evening.
Barry Robinson, FMB Morpeth and District branch secretary, said: “We were especially selective in choosing GNAAS because one of our Morpeth members was helped after an accident on one of his contracts. Please keep up the good work.”
Janet Hume, of GNAAS, attended the cheque presentation at Ashbrooke Sports Club. She said: “It is great to see people supporting us long after they have used the service and it just goes to show how much we stay in people’s hearts. GNAAS offers the highest level of pre-hospital care and the charity carries cutting edge medical equipment, as well as specialist trauma doctors and highly trained paramedics.
“Essentially, it brings the accident and emergency ward to the scene, which seems to have made a crucial difference in this case. Thank you to everyone who has donated towards the final total because it will go towards keeping our aircraft airborne.”