AN INJURED schoolgirl was left waiting for paramedics for two hours after she was hurt during a football match - despite the fact that the game was being played just a mile from the nearest ambulance station.
Goalkeeper Shelby Bryan, 15, dived into a goalpost and crashed to the ground with a painful back injury during an under-16s game in South Yorkshire.
Teammates and officials feared the teenager had suffered a serious injury and first aiders on the scene decided that, as she had hurt her back, it would be unsafe to move her.
As a result, the game between Shelby’s team, Maltby Miners’ Welfare under-16 girls, and Sheffield FC, had to be abandoned.
While Shelby lay injured on the pitch, officials called the emergency services for help.
They said they expected paramedics to arrive quickly from Maltby Ambulance Station, just a mile away - but instead Shelby had to lie on the ground for two hours while an ambulance was sent to the pitch from Sheffield, 15 miles away.
Eventually paramedics arrived to treat Shelby, a pupil at Maltby Academy, and took her to Rotherham District General Hospital for treatment.
After a series of X-rays, doctors found Shelby had escaped with a bruised spine.
She has since returned to the family home in Maltby, and is expected to make a full recovery from her injuries.
Football club chairman Jim Liversedge said the incident was “extremely distressing” for players, officials, and spectators alike.
He said: “The poor lass was laid there in agony and not knowing what was going on for two hours.
“We had to abandon the game with Shelby laid where she fell and all the players and parents were worried to death as they waited behind to see how she was.
“Nobody could move her because we had been told not to.
“It was just a nightmare. I would hope that this kind of thing would never happen again.
“This could have been a very serious injury and the waiting and uncertainty made it extremely distressing for everyone at the game that day.”
Shelby’s father Steven Bryan, 44, described the incident, which took place on the morning of Saturday, September 15, as “agonising.”
He added: “Shelby had dived to save a shot and collided with the post.
“It was sickening and when I saw her reaction I was concerned.
“The wait for the ambulance was agonising. I still can’t believe it didn’t turn up for more than two hours.
“The paramedics were great when they did arrive, but they told us they had come all the way from Sheffield.”
The local ambulance station in Maltby has been earmarked for closure in a new reorganisation.
Mr Bryan added: “If Maltby station shuts, this kind of incident could become even more common. It’s scary.”
David Williams, deputy director of operations for Yorkshire Ambulance Service, offered his apologies to the Bryan family and asked them to get in touch with the service’s patient relations team.
He said: “We would like to reassure members of the public that our utmost priority is providing a responsive, high-quality ambulance service to the people of Yorkshire.
“We would like to apologise to the family for the distress caused following the 999 call.
“We are very keen to speak to the patient’s family and would urge them to contact our patient relations team so we can discuss their concerns with them directly.
“Response times are not the only measure of the service we provide to our patients and we are also very proud of the high quality clinical care given by our staff.”