Medical emergenceys in remote places

If I’m in Anderson Island, WA and I need an ambulance, what happens? There are probably no ambulances on the island because there’s no hospital and the ferry takes 40 mins.


Where is the helicopter?

Most likely at a hospital with a heli-pad.

Well then where do they land the helicopter? There’s no heliport on the island. And how do the get me from where I am to the helicopter with no ambulance?

Those pilots are pretty sharp, they can land near anywhere.

When I had my ride, he landed on the shoulder of the road.

At the regional trauma center, wherever that is.

Madigan Army Medical Center, in Tacoma? (just guessing).

U of M Medical Center in Ann Arbor sends its medical choppers (Survival Flight) all over the state. For example.

In realistic terms, you will be evaluated by a local doctor, determined whether you are stable enough to travel by ordinary means. If you break your leg, 40 minutes on the ferry won’t kill you. Andersen Island DOES have EMTs (they are also firefighters).

Or at McChord AFB or Ft. Lewis, both of which are less than 10 miles away from Anderson Island and have helicopter S&R teams that could be called on for a medevac if the Tacoma hospital helicopters are off doing something else or the terrain is difficult.

You’ve got a very unambitious definition of a “remote” place. That’s probably one of the best places you could be if you needed a medical airlift!

Most likely at airports :smiley: along with most of the other helicopters in the area.

Most Hospital helipads are not storage points as inbound air ambulances from multiple agencies may end up using them.

While in EMT school I chose a rather busy night (new years eve 10pm-6am) as one of my ER rotation shifts required for my training. I was out helping unload 1 helicopter with two others hovering a couple hundred yards away waiting for the pad to clear.

The hospital I was in has an arrangement where a helicopter is based at the hospital. They have three pads.

Link to company profile.

Some years back my wife and I were visiting her uncle’s farm in Brazil. It wasn’t that far from Rio de Janeiro, but it was a bit off the beaten path—kind of like going from New York City to visit somebody’s cabin in the Adirondacks.

They had no phones nor electricity there, and you really had to want to go there—the farm was about 45 minutes away from the nearest small town, over horrible dirt roads.
If anything serious ever happened, you would have to go all the way back to town, and then go another half hour on regular paved roads to get to Macaé, the only place nearby that might have decent emergency services.

As we wandered about, I kept wondering what my chances would be if some obscure species of Brazilian snake were to bite me.

It didn’t happen, and I’m still alive.

I can’t imagine what it would be like to have a medical emergency in more remote regions.

Your idea of remote is odd. I was camping in Sudan a little over a year ago. We were at least 100 miles from the nearest town at one point… and probably more than 200 miles from the nearest even marginal Third World hospital.

Airlift Northwest, based in Seattle, provides the emergency air transport service for injured people in Washington, Alaska, Montana, Idaho and western Canada. I think they fly out of Boeing Field.

How long would it take for a guy to walk up to a helicopter, turn it on, and fly a helicopter to Anderson Island and figure out someplace to land it? If I have a stroke, that wouldn’t be good.

A couple of points:

They do, in fact, have ambulances and EMTs on Anderson island. if you had a stroke, you would be seen by an EMT or a doctor, then a decision about transport would be made. Medevac copters are like ambulances: they are ready to roll. They can travel up to 150 mph. It would take like 5 minutes to get there from Tacoma.

Helicopters are not hard to land. It’s like you’re wierdly obsessed that a helicopter won’t be able to land! You just need any flat-ish open-ish space. Like a baseball field, or a fairly wide street. Maybe you heard, they can even do it in war zones!

You’re coming off as really nutty on this issue. I recently had a funny-in-restrospect medical adventure in rural Costa Rica… perhaps its best if you remain in densely populated areas.

Then again, you can wait more than 40 minutes in traffic, getting to a hospital in NYC.

C’mon, once you start something like that you gotta finish. What’s the story?

Meanwhile, some Brazilian snake is slithering around thinking, “Where the hell am I? Wow, way out here in the middle of nowhere, if some tourist hits me with a shovel, I’m f-cked…”


Waiting for funny-in-retrospect story…

There’s no reasonably flat fields or large parking lots on the island??

I had a person hurt in a ATV accident, we had to carry him out of the woods to a open field on a ridge so the helicopter can land. So even if the helicopter doesn’t have a immediate landing place normally the person can be transported to that spot.

There is also the possibility of using a cable suspended from the helicopter, but in some areas, like the base camp of Mt Everest where they trip out would be on a Sherpa’s back as that is too high for helicopters to fly.