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Rcmp River Rescue

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Well, I was doing the whole thing and that got in there too during my paste. I think you know my point. :rolleyes:


Why don't we just stick with the Ground SAR spokesman then:




Perhaps someone here would also like to question Mr. Bruneski's qualifications to make the call that he did?



Anybody yet on how many minutes a civilian, stretcher/EMT/PCP-equipped chopper would have been on scene if it had been called out? Five minutes? 10? 15?








I would suggest that if Kent Harrison SAR was on scene for this call that there was more than enough time to have a qualified local SAR machine on site as well (Talon, Valley, maybe even Blackcomb for that matter). Response times being what they are, especially with the smaller less busy SAR Teams, there is no doubt that a local machine could have been there to do the rescue if they had been called early enough by the SAR Manager for a known medical rescue. Quite often, it is the local helicopter that arrives first rather than a full complement of SAR members, especially with the lower call volume Teams.


As for the medical training of the SAR Manager, I would agree that it is likely very basic. That being said, there are a number of both ACP and CCP Paramedic resources in the Lower Mainland that also happen to be seasoned SAR members that are available VERY quickly to assist in these types of calls and could have been requested through the PEP ECC. In this case, I expect that if this resource had been requested EARLY with the local helicopter, you could have had one of these highly trained members on scene with the responding Kent Harrison members to provide advanced medical care. As you know, the military SAR Techs training is essentially just PCP training with a few drug and procedural add-ons (excellent training no doubt but not quite the same as a full time Advanced Care or Critical Care Paramedic). If you are suggesting that this patient required an advanced level of medical care the reality is that the Lower Mainland SAR Teams have exceptional capability and extremely rapid response times that may have benefited this patient. 442 would be unlikely to achieve this response time and do not have the medical capability to provide that level of pre-hospital, back-country medical care.


The magic that 442 does bring to these calls is for night operation lighting and winch capability when other local efforts have failed due to darkness - nobody in the SAR community questions the value of these guys in these challenging situations and greatly appreciate the expertise and capability that they have. Down-wash and near death experiences from blown down trees, rocks, or other various chunks of debris from the Cormorant is another story entirely however so when push comes to shove, my personal choice would be to be doing an HFRS/HETS extraction if at all possible ;)


As others have correctly stated, it's always easy to arm chair quarter back in the You Tube age. Everything we do ends up on video or in picture somewhere so we have a responsibility to carefully measure how we do business, especially when it is regarding safety or adherence to Policy, Procedure, and the Law. The plain fact of the matter was that this call appears not to have been done as safely as it could have. The machine could have left and removed the doors for an anticipated hot-load of the patient (common practice with local SAR air carriers). A medical attendant should have been in a harness on the floor next to the horizontally loaded patient in position to provide immediate medical care like clearing of a soiled airway. This attendant should have been strapped into the seat belt anchors on the aircraft for safety during flight (common practice with local SAR air carriers). The patient should have been put on the rear seat and quickly secured with the aircraft seat belts, even just for this short flight (common practice with local SAR air carriers). Failing a safe approach or exit from the scene for the aircraft, a rapid, safe HFRS/HETS extraction could have been done (common practice with local SAR air carriers). I could say more but you get the drift.


Long story short, there are are always better ways of doing a call, especially in hindsight. That being said, there are basic levels of safety that HAVE TO BE MAINTAINED on every response that we do regardless of the assumed medical acuity of the patient or the perceived time constraints. These basic levels of safety are developed and put into practice after countless hours of training and operational experience. If we don't follow these basic tenets of safety as rescuers, we will undoubtedly end up as patients ourselves or dead on a slab. Lower Mainland SAR pilots and their aircraft are trained, equipped, and available to do this work. The local RCMP pilots (although very skilled) are not the primary tool for the rescue job - searching for sure, but not the actual rescue phase of the response. It isn't good enough any more to "just get the job done" with the means justifying the end. We have skilled staff, appropriate tools, and years of operational experience that allow for both rapid, lifesaving response and a base level of safety that protects both rescuer and victim.


Utmost respect to all of those involved BTW, it's hard to make these challenging decisions when the time is short and emotions are running high..........it's too bad that these are the exact things that completely screw with people's situational awareness and hazard assessment on these types of calls! Thanks to everyone on the board for their input, there is some great discussion here and a bunch of experience to learn from.




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Well said HEC!! Local Sar teams have some great ALS paramedics on their teams for patients that need it. North Shore SAR responds to about 90 calls a year on average with approx. a dozen or so hets calls a year on avg. In this case I heard that a hets team was called off when they would have arrived before anyone else! The pilot isn't the only link in the chain that should be looked at by any stretch of the imagination.


Again I agree that the pilot in the end got everyone home safe, and at the time thought this was the best course of action, so I do recognize that.

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HEC, thank you for a very informative post! You have added a great amount more value to this thread! Much appreciated.


I had posted earlier in an attempt to at least seek some balance given what was swirling around the SAR responders at the time. It seemed as though the masses were heading towards a "this should have been our job, not the Mounties assing around endangering lives and breaking CARs" type of thing.


Some of the most important takeaways from this incident kind of got buried in the rest of the proceedings, and that relates to qualifications and risk assessment. Did the Horseymen do it 100% right? No. Did they do their best, given that ground SAR had NOT called other SAR operators for air evac? Yes, I think that with the info passed to them, they did pretty well, although there were no doubt questions stemming from how the actual extraction of the victim was conducted. Perhaps consideration as part of the GSAR organization's risk assessment model should be to assess the situation with a critical eye to what resources (with appropriate capabilities and qualifications) might be required. Knowing that some capabilities have some longer lead times associated with them, appropriate organizations could ramp suitable responders earlier such that, as you point out, HEC, a better suited resource in the immediate area could at least be put on standby, if not actually launched to support the operation. Hopefully this point is captured and at least considered within the region's SAR responder organizations to take a breath, figure out who's best-suited/qualified/equipped to help and get everybody up 'on freq' to support.


It is likely the rare exception amongst us who has not been caught up in a moment to "help/get 'er done" where post-incident analysis with a beer in hand might result in a "Hmmmm, guys, maybe we won't do it that way next time?"


Again, HEC, thanks for your excellent post!





p.s. Many of the SAR Techs have secured their APC quals, often on their own time, so they're not all just "vein-stabbing IV monkeys" (as one of them once jokingly told me referring to upgrading beyond PCP certification).

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No thinking or reasonable insight allowed for me, you know better than that Dick! Maybe a quick Hacky Sack session in "boots" or a bottle of the original Granville Island Lager served cool in the coffee room by Mr. Herbst after a long Saturday retail nightmare but no insight or level thought allowed. That being said, a great summer has been had thus far with lots of work, fun times with the fam, and a successful Class D rig off The Lions today (GREAT flying as usual Kelsey!). Can't complain really.........


Hope you and the family are well, see you in the hills,



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