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Monday, April 18, 2011

What Goes Down Must Go Up?

It had been a quiet shift. We decided to head over to the off road park to check things out. They were having a 3 day professional event which is fun to watch and usually good for providing a few calls. They always have a private paramedic ambulance on standby but anything serious or requiring manpower and we get a call. I told my engineer that every time we go over for a tour we end up getting a call there. It's almost as if the riders know we are close so they try some of the riskier moves, and fail.

We started down on the West side and worked our way East, stopping to people watch and to chat to the rangers. While traveling down the dirt road a dirt bike came at us in a hurry. A young man pulled up and said that a young girl had gone into the stream up one of the canyons. We flipped on the lights, notified the rangers and dispatch and headed that way. We also requested a helicopter figuring it's better to have it on its way and not need it than vice versa.

When we arrived at the accident we found a 11 year old girl laying on the trail. Her dirt bike was at the bottom of a 10 foot deep ravine. One of the "helpful" bystanders and decided to pull her up to the trail and take off her helmet. One of the rangers immediately grabbed c-spine for me. I can't say enough positive things about those rangers. They make my job easy.

A witness said that she had accidentally left her bike in neutral when she started down the hill. She accelerated to a speed which made it impossible for her to make the curve sending her into the stream below.

As I started my exam I noticed that she had a laceration above her right eye. The bleeding was relatively minor so I wasn't too concerned. The young lady kept complaining about her right foot. After my physical exam and noting that there were no other apparent injuries other than her cut and her foot my captain asked if I still wanted the helo. As I was about to say no I noticed that my patient started asking the same questions again, indicating a possible brain injury. I decided to fly her.

While some of the guys finished strapping her to a backboard others splinted her leg. I started an IV and then administered some morphine. I was working with an overtime captain and he was impressed that I even considered pain medication. I ended up giving the little girl as much as I could and it took the edge off of the pain from a possible fractured foot. Once all this was done we loaded her into the stokes basked on the back of the rangers 6 wheel ATV and headed down the hill. Part of our crew had already headed that way to set up an LZ.

Just as we got the the landing zone the helicopter appeared over head. Once I made sure the patient was safe from the rotor wash I snapped a quick video.

Once Calstar was on the ground we met up with the crew. I gave a report to the flight nurse who did a quick second check of the patient. We then loaded the girl onto the waiting helicopter, the engine never having shut down. Her father was going to get the ride of his life in the front seat.

After clearing the bird I took another video of them lifting off. In ten minutes she would be at Children's Hospital, instead of the hour it would have taken by ground ambulance.


Erin said...

I am so glad that you are out there doing your job:)

Jen at Cabin Fever said...

At least she went into a stream and not a tree. Although, from the video, it doesn't look like there are many trees out there :)

And I feel better knowing I'm not the only one who has videoed helo landings and take offs.

Firefighter/Paramedic said...

Jen- She actually hit the far side of the ravine first and then fell into the stream.

Anonymous said...

You do great work!!

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