REPORTING · 30th January 2010
At 3:15 pm today, a signal was received from a hand held spot device indicating a sledder was in trouble on Bolton Ridge near Kitimat. This device provided coordinates and indicated an injury.
The call came into the Terrace Fire Hall and Search and Rescue Technician, Dave Jephson activated the response action plan. The RCMP were notified, the Ambulance service, Terrace and Kitimat Search and Rescue teams, their avalanche technicians, along with Lakelse Air for their required helicopter service.
Avalanche technician Scott Hicks arrived at Lakelse Air with equipment and made his first landing at the top of Thornhill Mountain where other Search and Rescue Tech’s were training in outdoor overnight activities. There Hicks picked up more equipment, another SAR tec member and got aloft again headed for Bolton Ridge.
Using the GPS coordinates from the spot device the sledder was quickly located. A possible broken femur (leg) appeared to be the distress. The team immobilized the patient and air transported him to the old Kitimat Hospital pad where an ambulance was already waiting. He was then immediately transported to the new Kitimat hospital where an orthopedic surgeon was waiting.
This event demonstrated the skill and training of the two local Search and Rescue organizations; Kitimat and Terrace. Both are well organized, trained teams of professionals, volunteering their time for others.
Scott Hicks returned the SAR Tec to Thornhill Mountain at 5:15; two hours after the original call came in. By 5:30 Lakelse Air was returning to base on Highway 16 in Thornhill.
Lakelse Air's A Star chopper used by Terrace Search and Rescue