Hayes Creek Fire Chief Rob Miller said the incident underscores the important role first responders play in medical emergencies in rural areas. Photo submitted.

Ambulance took one hour to reach rural accident scene

Okanagan man airlifted after being hit while on tractor

A Osprey Lake area man was flown to hospital in Kelowna last Saturday after a truck hit the tractor he was driving on Princeton Summerland Road

The 56-year-old suffered a fractured back and other injuries, but is expected to make a full recovery, according to Rob Miller, chief of the Hayes Creek Volunteer Fire Department.

Miller said the incident underscores the important role first responders play in medical emergencies in rural areas.

Hayes Creek was notified of the accident – at approximately the 42 kilometer mark on the road – at 10:15 a.m.

“It took us 10 minutes to get there. It took [the ambulance] one hour.”

When the fire department arrived on the scene the victim was going into shock, said Miller. He was assessed and wrapped in blankets.

First responders set up critical traffic control on a nearby sharp and blind corner. They also established a landing zone for the en route air ambulance, which could not have landed in the snow without constant communication with the ground crew.

“In this case they tried to land in a meadow and it’s a white out with no visibility…it took us a while to get them down.”

The helicopter eventually landed in a neighboring driveway, but paramedics could not reach it to transfer the patient because there was three to four inches of snow.

“Fire radioed one of its members to bring a backhoe from home, and plow the driveway,” said Miller. “This took about 20 minutes.”

In recent weeks both Miller and Chief Dave Stringfellow, of the Erris Volunteer Fire Department, have been critical of a new British Columbia Emergency Health Services protocol that results in their crews are not always dispatched as first responders to medical emergencies in their communities.

They are always dispatched in the case of a vehicle accident, however.

Miller said in the past his department has frequently had to shuttle paramedics to an incident because their ambulances cannot negotiate many of the driveways in the area.

A survey indicates approximately 40 per cent of the homes in the Hayes Creek area cannot be accessed by an ambulance, even without snow.

“The driveways are just too steep,” he said.

To report a typo, email:
publisher@similkameenspotlight.com
.



andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

UPDATE: West Kelowna fawn euthanized, not claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer has been euthanized after a suitable home was not found in time

Iconic rock photographer Bob Gruen to exhibit work in Kelowna

Gruen’s portfolio includes John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, among many others.

Kelowna car thief’s sentencing delayed

Stanley Nickason pleaded guilty car theft charges in B.C. Supreme Court

Alleged impaired driver flips car near Lake Country

The incident happened early Friday morning

July showers wash out half of the Okanagan’s cherry supply

Cherry growers say this is the worst season they’ve seen in decades

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Survivorship Dragon Boat Team wins in Vernon

Team takes top spot in A division at festival

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

RDOS contributes funds to arts centre workshop

South Okanagan Performing Arts Centre Society wants input into proposed facility

World-famous sopranos to hold concert in Okanagan

Two Canadian sopranos are bringing their world-famous voices to the Okanagan for one night only

Summerland Fall Fair to include zucchini race

Event is in honour of bobsleigh athlete Justin Kripps

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

Most Read