WHIDBEY ISLAND, Wash. — A call for a medical evacuation (MedEvac) came to NAS Whidbey Island’s Search and Rescue (SAR) Oct. 25, 2013, after a 74 year-old-man had fallen off a ladder at his home on Lopez Island.
NAS Whidbey Island’s SAR team received the call due to low cloud ceilings that prevented local civilian medical airlift services from flying.
“We got the page at about 10:20 a.m., and launched for Lopez Island about an hour later,” said Lt. Maggie Champlin, the MH-60S Knighthawk Helicopter Aircraft Commander. “We were asked to take the patient to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle due to the nature of his injuries.”
According to NAS Operations’ SAR report, a San Juan paramedic was on scene when SAR arrived, and assisted the Navy rescue crew in getting the victim aboard the aircraft. Despite the low visibility due to fog, Champlin said there was great crew coordination both on the ground and in the air.
Assisting in the MedEvac were Lt. Matt Mangaran; Co-pilot; Naval Aircrewman Helicopter (AWS) 2nd Class Tim Hawk; Crew Chief; AWS2 Jon Hampton, Helicopter Inland Rescue Aircrewman; and Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class (HM2) Alex Nguyen and HM2 Wayne Papalski, both SAR Medical Technicians.
Thus far this year, SAR has performed five MedEvacs, eight rescues and three searches.