Photo Credit: Brad Fandrich

On Feb 27, 2012 at around 14:00, North Shore Rescue (NSR) was request by the BC Ambulance Service (BCAS) to respond to a medical emergency in a remote logging area near Ladysmith. This request came after BCAS tried to access both military and civilian assets in the vicinity, but were unsuccessful. BCAS flight paramedics had arrived at the scene via their S76 medivac helicopter, but were not equipped to evacuate the patients from the rugged terrain above the logging road. That said, within minutes of the request, NSR HETS team members were prepping their gear and waiting for a helicopter from Talon Helicopters, and another from Valley Helicopters to pick them up on the North Shore.

Once enroute, the flight team navigated to the scene using a lat/long coordinate provided by the paramedics on the ground and gained radio comms with them on the provincial simplex frequency, PEP 1. The flight team was fully equipped to independently care for the two patients for an extended period of time should there have been any complications due to weather, daylight, or scene conditions.

Upon arrival, the BCAS flight paramedics had packaged the two seriously injured forestry workers, both of whom had been struck by a tree. The paramedics had been with the patients for a significant period of time, prior to NSR being called. The NSR flight team quickly rigged Talon Helicopters AS355 TwinStar helicopter for a longline rescue, and evacuated the two patients back down to the waiting medivac helicopter. Both patients were evacuated to Nanaimo Regional Hospital where they were assessed and are still being treated for serious traumatic injuries.

These two subjects could not have received better care. The paramedics who arrived with the medivac helicopter and hiked to the scene are all Critical Care Paramedics and thus trained to a very high level of emergency medicine. This high level of care was further supplemented by another Advanced Care Paramedic who is a member of the NSR HETS team.

Overall, a great response and great cooperation with the crews from BCAS.