Injured junior ice hockey player left waiting two hours for ambulance

By Sam Cooper | 03/02/2017

Injured junior ice hockey player left waiting two hours for ambulance
Nathanial Bradford (15), who had to wait two hours on the ice for an ambulance. Nathanial collided with with boards round the ice rink at Ice Sheffield, where he was playing ice hockey and blacked out. 170156-3

A JUNIOR ice hockey player injured during a game was left out in the cold when an ambulance took two hours to arrive — despite FOUR 999 calls.

Nathaniel Bradford (15) was briefly knocked unconscious after being body-checked into the boards during a game for Sheffield Steel City at Ice Sheffield on Sunday.

The teenager’s grandmother Joy, who took him to the game, said Nathaniel, of Maltby, had to lie on the ice for two hours as team-mates and coaches did not want to risk further injury by moving him.

Joy said: “They were only eight minutes into the match and he was body-checked from behind.

“He can’t remember if he was knocked out or not, but I suspect he was for a short spell.

“I just can’t believe that it took so long for an ambulance to arrive. To leave a child laid out on the ice for two hours is ridiculous.”

Maltby Academy student Nathaniel was playing in an under-18s game against Sutton Sting when the incident happened.

His mum Laura Collins (36) said she could hardly believe the slow response from Yorkshire Ambulance Service despite repeated calls by rink officials.

She said: “The rink phoned for the ambulance and then when they phoned for a second time the call handler got Nathaniel’s name wrong.

“They then phoned a third time and it was still wrong. The call handler said it wasn’t even on the emergency list.

“When I arrived at the rink I phoned up and just went mental down the phone and I said: ‘I am not happy with this — he has been laid on the ice for two hours.’

“They said they were really busy and I just said: ‘That doesn’t mean anything to me’.”

Joy said: “Ice hockey is a sport where injuries happen and time just kept dragging on. 

“It got to 45 minutes, then an hour and they arrived after two hours.

“The staff at the rink, where they have first aiders, did their best but, by the end of the two hours I was starting to think the worst.”

Laura said the call handler told her that the reason for the delay was “they didn’t know where IceSheffield was”.

She added: “The paramedics that arrived were great and his coach and first aider were absolutely brilliant.

“I just dread to think what could have happened. 

“He could have had hypothermia or anything.

“I wonder if it’s because they just thought: ‘It’s another hockey player that’s got injured.”

Nathaniel was eventually taken to Sheffield Children’s Hospital where an X-ray showed he had not broken any bones.

Jackie Cole, locality director of Emergency Operations for South Yorkshire at Yorkshire Ambulance Service, said: “We are sorry to hear that the family has raised concerns about our response to this 999 call and would like to apologise for the delay in attending the incident.

“The emergency call was received during a busy period on Sunday afternoon and we were doing our best to respond as quickly as possible to all patients who needed our assistance.

“We would welcome the opportunity to discuss the matter directly with the family and ask that they contact our Patient Relations Team on 0345 122 0535.”

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