Campbell River Search & Rescue was called out Sunday morning to assist BC Ambulance with the medical evacuation of an injured snowmobiler near Bacon Lake, north west of Strathcona Dam. A female snowmobiler had been thrown from a snowmobile while riding along a logging road. The female struck rocks after falling off the machine and suffered serious requiring a medical evacuation.
BC Ambulance was not able to access the area due to snow and the terrain. CR SAR was conducting an exercise in the Loveland Bay area thatmorning so a ground crew was mobilized to that area immediately. A helicopter with a SAR member departed Campbell River at the same time to provide an air evacuation platform. Shortly after arriving on scene the snowmobile party was spotted by the helicopter and the crew landed at a nearby road junction. The woman was located a short distance later and quickly packaged on a spine board and transported on a snowmobile back to the helicopter.
Once aboard SAR crews flew a short distance to the Strathcona Dam where an awaiting BC Ambulance was waiting. Upon assessment by the paramedics it was determined that the woman’s injuries were serious enough to re-route the helicopter directly to the hospital. A Paramedic boarded the helicopter and along with the SAR member they flew the woman directly to the CR Hospital where she was transferred to the Emergency Department.
This was a case where the woman’s companions did everything right, they made a clear visible landing spot for the helicopter, they had provided immediate first aid and kept the woman warm with extra jackets and provided assistance to the SAR team in helping to move the woman to the helicopter. Their assistance was invaluable to us, we had limited space on the helicopter to bring in SAR members so having the extra hands on the ground after we landing was key in packaging and evacuating the woman quickly and they are owed a debt of gratitude.
CR SAR would like to take this opportunity to remind people that having a safety plan in place is essential for all outdoor activities. Whether it be hiking, boating, or snowmobiling it’s very important to have a “what if” plan in place in case something goes wrong, What if someone gets hurt, what if someone gets lost or becomes ill, knowing where you are exactly so you can direct rescue crews in, carrying a cell phone or satellite beacon, having a first aid kit and some basic first aid training can be the difference between life and death for you or someone your traveling with
When you need help call 911 and ask for the RCMP to report a Search & Rescue emergency.