Hayes Creek Fire Chief Rob Miller said the incident underscores the important role first responders play in medical emergencies in rural areas. Photo submitted.

Ambulance took one hour to reach rural accident scene

Okanagan man airlifted after being hit while on tractor

A Osprey Lake area man was flown to hospital in Kelowna last Saturday after a truck hit the tractor he was driving on Princeton Summerland Road

The 56-year-old suffered a fractured back and other injuries, but is expected to make a full recovery, according to Rob Miller, chief of the Hayes Creek Volunteer Fire Department.

Miller said the incident underscores the important role first responders play in medical emergencies in rural areas.

Hayes Creek was notified of the accident – at approximately the 42 kilometer mark on the road – at 10:15 a.m.

“It took us 10 minutes to get there. It took [the ambulance] one hour.”

When the fire department arrived on the scene the victim was going into shock, said Miller. He was assessed and wrapped in blankets.

First responders set up critical traffic control on a nearby sharp and blind corner. They also established a landing zone for the en route air ambulance, which could not have landed in the snow without constant communication with the ground crew.

“In this case they tried to land in a meadow and it’s a white out with no visibility…it took us a while to get them down.”

The helicopter eventually landed in a neighboring driveway, but paramedics could not reach it to transfer the patient because there was three to four inches of snow.

“Fire radioed one of its members to bring a backhoe from home, and plow the driveway,” said Miller. “This took about 20 minutes.”

In recent weeks both Miller and Chief Dave Stringfellow, of the Erris Volunteer Fire Department, have been critical of a new British Columbia Emergency Health Services protocol that results in their crews are not always dispatched as first responders to medical emergencies in their communities.

They are always dispatched in the case of a vehicle accident, however.

Miller said in the past his department has frequently had to shuttle paramedics to an incident because their ambulances cannot negotiate many of the driveways in the area.

A survey indicates approximately 40 per cent of the homes in the Hayes Creek area cannot be accessed by an ambulance, even without snow.

“The driveways are just too steep,” he said.

To report a typo, email:
publisher@similkameenspotlight.com
.



andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Motorcyclist medevaced to Kelowna after collision with deer near Apex Mountain Resort

Male suffered serious but not life-threatening injuries to his neck

PHOTOS: What makes a winning Caesar?

Three local bartenders competed to make the best Caesar in Penticton

Penticton Legion’s grand reopening a success, says president

17 new members have signed up since the reopening Aug. 1

Festival goers at the 27th annual Roots and Blues Festival

The Observer asked: Where are you from and what brought you to the festival?

OHA alumna welcomed as new assistant coach for women’s varsity team

Alyssa MacMillan attended OHA from 2011 to 2016

70 years of lifting: Canadian man, 85, could cinch weightlifting championship

The senior gym junkie is on track to win the World Masters Weightlifting championship

U16 B.C. fastpitch team named national champs

Girls went undefeated at national tournament in Calgary

Summerland’s downtown has gone through numerous changes

Main Street has been commercial hub of community for many years

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

Okanagan climate advocacy group protests against Tolko

Group to demonstrate outside Vernon head office Monday over plan to log close to water supply

Okanagan Cultural Connections live venue tour kicks off in Vernon

Two dozen promoters, national booking agents, and music reps to visit venues from Vernon to Oliver

Most Read