A FARMER who became trapped in a potato harvester in the middle of a Herefordshire field is making good progress in hospital.

Firefighters, paramedics and a "flying doctor" worked together as a team for several hours to free Nigel Price, whose arm was caught up to his shoulder in a set of rollers.

It was a skilled, delicate operation and at one time, the 45-year-old was in danger of bleeding to death.

But because the professionals and other helpers worked together as a team, he survived.

And it proves that even in the depths of Herefordshire - and two fields away from a road - the emergency services are as good as anywhere in the country.

It was mid morning on Friday, October 13, when they were alerted to the accident at Crowe Farm, Willersley.

Among them was Dr Malcolm Russell, a member of the Mercia Accident Rescue Services, whose members are volunteers ready to be called out when additional skills are needed.

Dr Russell said he found Mr Price on top of the machine in a small space with his feet sticking up and his arm wrapped round rollers up to his shoulder.

His arm could not be pulled out so it was a question of removing the rollers.

"Fortunately the firefighters, who were retainers and had agricultural experience and knowledge of the machine, and some local mechanics also arrived," said Dr Russell.

While they started taking it apart, Dr Russell and ambulance paramedics helped sustain Mr Price, who was still conscious but hurting badly, with pain relief, oxygen and fluids.

It was a slow and difficult job and when just one roller was released, Mr Price's life was put in danger.

He had a huge laceration on his underarm and the release caused profuse bleeding, but his arm was still trapped.

Dr Russell used a combat operation tourniquet and although working in a small space, the doctor and paramedics were able to get it in position.

Eventually Mr Price, by now deeply in shock, was released and taken to Hereford County Hospital, where he was given blood. He was taken to Worcestershire Royal Hospital for specialist treatment and critical care and is now at Selly Oak Hospital, undergoing plastic surgery but still with his arm - and his life.

Throughout his ordeal his father, Mervyn, was alongside him. Mervyn and his wife, Eileen, have expressed their gratitude to everyone involved in their son's rescue.