The pictures you see on these pages were taken by Philip Hull of Community Medical Services who, with his colleague Barry Niemand, worked in freezing, wet and miserable conditions throughout the night on July 25th and throughout the following two days rescuing stranded motorists from the pass using their own vehicles.
I was in touch with Philip regularly by phone and on one call he said: “Just hang on. I’m just trying to find a place to hitch the tow onto this car so we can get the family to a safe place. We’ve got big problems up here.’
Between him and Barry, they managed to haul between 80 to 90 cars up the pass to the Caltex Garage. They also helped save the life of a critically ill patient who was being transferred in an ambulance from Mpumalanga to Durban. The ambulance got stuck in the snow and the medics were running out of oxygen for the patient.
Philip commandeered a front-end loader to haul it up to their Help Care Centre where they kept the patient warm and were able to replenish the oxygen from their own supply. The Military from 5SAI used their trucks to clear a path through the snow the next day and Philip and Barry escorted the ambulance down the pass, weaving through the stuck trucks.
Once again, we lift our hats to Philip Hull and his team of volunteers from Community Medical Services for the great job they always do on Van Reenen’s Pass. And it’s all voluntary simply because they care!