Injured forestry workers in remote or rural parts of the province must wait – often for many hours – to access air ambulance, reports the BC Forest Safety Ombudsman in a report released today.
“Rural communities today are impacted twice compared to urban centres – first, in reduced access to medical care and again in reduced access to emergency medical transportation,” said BC Forest Safety Ombudsman Roger Harris. “For remote communities, as the distance to the nearest medical facility increases, the access to HEMS should be enhanced, not reduced.”
The report, Will It Be There – A Report on Helicopter Emergency Medical Services in BC, indicates that the serious gaps in the provision of emergency medical transport for workers in rural parts of the province threatens the medical outcomes of forestry workers – as well as residents – who have little to no guarantee to timely medical response in the event of an emergency. The current system falls short when compared to other jurisdictions such as Washington State or Alaska, with similar geography to BC, which have legislation to ensure that 99% of their population is within a 60-minute response time to a Level 3 trauma centre.
The report recommends that the provincial government: guarantee timelines for all residents to be able to access Trauma 3 Level care, similar to other jurisdictions; review the Emergency Health Services Act to allow for flexibility when it comes to expanding the scope of practice and role of First Responders in the transportation of accident victims; and expand the use of hoisting to reduce time to extract and transfer patients to medical facilities.
“There are no technical or infrastructure barriers to the delivery of air ambulance within that critical first hour to any resident of BC, regardless of where they live. The decision by government not to provide that access is a choice,” asserts Harris. “These recommendations support faster care for workers and all residents regardless of where you live in the province. Faster care results in better medical outcomes for the patient – which in turn, results in lower cost to the health care system.”
The full report is available on the BC Forest Safety Council website: www.bcforestsafe.org.
Harris was appointed Forest Safety Ombudsman more than 10 years ago by the BCFSC to be an impartial representative for forest safety issues. (See www.bcforestsafe.org/ombudsman.html.)
- Former Sikorsky and Schweizer facility close to being sold
- Philippine telecom company commercialises flight dept
- ALEA Public Safety Drone Expo Opens in New Orleans
- ACR Electronics Announces Acquisition of SKYTRAC by Drew Marine
- Metro Aviation celebrates 35 years of operation
- Safran appoints new Executive Vice-President of Programs
- FAA and EASA Update Aviation Safety Agreement
- FAA issue exemption allowing ACSF UH-1 blades to fly
- Trakka announces Leonardo AW109 to feature SWE-400 QUAD
- Oceania Aviation completes first AS355 Max-Vis EVS install
- CHC SAR Team Awarded Commendation Award
- Worcestershire Royal Hospital helipad plans approval
- Palm Beach Helicopters installs TH22SM AATD from ELITE
- Nord Helikopter praises Auk protection suits
- Vector takes AS350 crash resistant fuel system to AMTC 2017
- DART Aerospace now accepting preorders for Bell 505 Bearpaws
- Oceania Aviation complete Pakistan Army Schweizer upgrade program
- Skytrac receives patent for bill-by-the-mile tracker
- Airbus Helicopters proudly supports AAMS Community Award Winners
- Helicopter Museum Co-hosts Main Line Airport Dedication