People living in B.C.’s remote, off-grid areas oftentimes don’t have access to BC Emergency Health Services or Search and Rescue. But one non-profit has come up with a solution.
TEAAM Aeromedical has partnered with Vancouver Island Helicopters to bring two new advanced medical rescue helicopters to the North Island area, taking off from the Campbell River airport.
“We’re a non-profit aeromedical rescue program that focuses on advanced life support, critical care medicine, and remote and difficult settings that are beyond the reach of ambulance services,” TEAAM president Miles Randell tells our newsroom.
In fact, he says a recent call for members involved a tree planter on the North Island who was having a ‘significant’ heart attack.
Using hoist and long line equipped helicopters, TEAAM crews can access patients in remote industrial sites, forestry operations, First Nations communities, and marine environments.
“We provide not only the highest possible level of medical care, but we also can transport directly to the most appropriate hospital,” Randell says.
Currently, TEAAM is training around 20 new staff members in Campbell River, showing them the ropes and teaching them about the program.
“We’ll have paramedics, nurses and doctors on staff for medical care, as well as rescue specialists, such as mountain guides,” Randell explains.
He says TEAAM is in the process of raising $350,000, which will help cover equipment and training costs.
According to Randell, TEAMM always intended to have a base in Campbell River. Established in 2017, they already have bases in Squamish, Prince George and Fort St. John.
“We’re looking at four bases once Campbell River is up and running,” adds Randell. “And then we’ve got three bases that we’re going to focus on in the next few years to get us fully up and running.”
To learn more about TEAAM Aeromedical, or to donate, visit this website.