A RULE that prevents paramedics changing flat tyres on ambulances led to a two-hour wait for a Tawonga man with a broken ankle.
Andrew Macklan, 38, came off his Honda sport motorbike near Dartmouth on April 14, crushing his leg in the low-speed crash.
His father, Paul Macklan, rode into Dartmouth to raise the alarm about midday.
The nearest ambulance crew was immediately dispatched from Mitta Mitta at 12.25pm but was held up by a flat tyre.
The Border Mail understands a passer-by offered to change the tyre but the paramedics were bound by occupational health and safety rules that require the job to be done by a mechanic.
Matt Chadban, Ambulance Victoria’s group manager for Upper Hume, said the 3.2-tonne ambulances were twice the weight of an average car and the rule that professionals must change tyres was in place for the safety of paramedics, volunteers and the general public.
Mr Chadban said the next available crew was called in from Tallangatta to go to Mr Macklan.
They left at 12.48pm and arrived 1.50pm.
After some difficulty, they reached him at 2.14pm.
Eleven days later, Mr Macklan is recovering at the Albury-Wodonga Private Hospital and will go in for a second round of surgery tomorrow.
But the AGL worker and father of a one-year-old daughter said he wasn’t concerned about the delay, just glad he was in one piece.
“Ambulances have tyres just like any other vehicle. They’re not bulletproof,” Mr Macklan said.
“We were in a remote area, so two hours could have been a normal time.”