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

Column: When is plant and animal species loss a crisis?

David Suzuki is a scientist, broadcaster, author and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Clear skies and pushing 20 C

Environement Canada forcasts a sunny and warm Easter weekend

BC Care Providers to explore new solutions to care aide shortage in Okanagan

CEO Daniel Fontaine finishes Listening Tour, discusses possible care aide internship in Okanagan

Peeling away: OK strip clubs disappearing

Hear from Penticton’s only strip club owner about their success in a dying industry

Parliament Hill 4-20 organizers predict record crowd after legalization

A celebration? Yes, but organizers say concerns remain about the government’s decisions on legalization rollout

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Parents say Austrian climber missing in Banff National Park ‘lived his dream’

David Lama, Hansjorg Auer and American climber Jess Roskelley have been missing since Wednesday

Six months after legalization, high prices and supply issues boost illicit pot market

It has been six months since Canada became the first industrialized country to legalize recreational cannabis

Seattle’s 4-20 ‘protestival’ enjoys tolerance, some support – and B.C. could do the same

Seattle’s Hempfest a large-scale occasions with vendors, prominent musical acts and thousands of attendees

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, multiple people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

Local Kelowna project tabs restaurant workers for industry fundraiser

The 2nd Hungry Games invites fundraises for local charities

Home Hardware to give away free Reusable Shopping Bags in honour of Earth Day

“We feel we have a responsibility to keep our ecological footprint as small as possible”

Most Read