Re: Wilderness First Aid (helicopter response to isolated areas)
Amick Robert (amick@spot.Colorado.EDU)
Thu, 15 May 1997 16:05:54 -0600 (MDT)
I would have to respectfully disagree with Steve, reagarding access to
helicopters. In Colorado, (and many other Western States), there is a
good network of EMS/Rescue Helicopters coordinated through Provenant/St.
Anthony's who can get airborne in minutes 24/7 upon a "chopper go" order
which can be initiated by an EMT or any public safety person. These folks
fly high altitude Alouette or Bell High ALtitude choppers with
appropriate paramedic/flight nurses. Often they will also stop at the
base camp and bring in a mountain rescue person with them to assist with
any technical rescues or loading. They can pretty much fly to any
isolated mountainous area in the Rockies, except in extreme weather
conditions, and have been responsible for medical evacuation of many
seriously injured folks in isolated areas. In many cases they come pretty
close to making an evac at or near the "golden hour" or not a whole lot
beyond that, plus they have lots of ALS gear on board to "buy more time"
if need be.
I agree that in some cases, such as bad weather, you can't get a
chopper right away, and certainly if your only choice is doing the best
you can until rescue gets there, then by all means do what you can..just
bear in mind that in critical injuries, you may be fighting a losing
battle after the "hour" has elapsed...
The biggest problem, to reiterate the earlier post, is rapid notification
of the need for a chopper which can best be facilitated with radio
communications (e.g. two meter ham band, cell phone, et al) and the use of
a GPS to pinpoint exact lat/lon coordinates and an LZ.
Bob Amick, EMT-B, Explorer Advisor, High Adventure Explorer Post
72 Boulder, CO
On Wed, 14 May 1997, Steven Featherkile wrote:
I would not hesitate to call a
> helo in those rare instances where it might be needed. The problem is,
> by the time the helo got there, the sacred "Golden Hour" would have long
> since elapsed. For those of you who want to wait for the pros to get
> there before you do anything, THEY AREN"T COMING!!! At least not in
> time to do you any good. Nowhere in this great land of ours can you
> come up on your PRC-25, call Battalion and request the Jolly Green for a
> dust-off, unless you happen to be on a military base with access to
> their net. > a "Golden couple or three days."
Find the course and get the training.