Friday, November 9, 2012
While on duty, our ALS ambulance was requested to respond to a man in the water not breathing. Enroute we were updated, the patient was out of the water unresponsive not breathing, CPR in progress. Arrived to find pt 200 feet down a very steep ravine on a fishing platform. We both debated the climb down, we had no safety equipment and SAR was 60-90 minutes away. It was decided to go down anyway. There were several tattered lines the locals used to get down the steep muddy hill to the platforms. The pt was lying on his back on the platform 8-10 feet off the rapids. We did CPR and bagged him for nearly 4 hours. SAR set up an extrication line and we used a stokes to haul him up. The platform was slick from the rain and fish caught that day. Footing was sketchy at best. Fortunately my partner and I finished the call with no injuries and best of all our pt survived.
We try to size up each call and scene, to see the dangers. But we decide to try and help despite risk to our own safety. I am encouraging follow up training to get our department set up for reach and treat, and appropriate equipment on on the ambulance.