Frequent Arrowsmith Search and Rescue training exercises like the one above help prepare them for unusual rescues like one on Sept. 3.

Complicated rescue near Mt. Arrowsmith outside Parksville

B.C. Ambulance called Arrowsmith Search and Rescue shortly after 10 p.m. on Sept. 3

Arrowsmith Search and Rescue (ASAR) and B.C. Ambulance members conducted a complicated rescue on Sept. 3.

B.C. Ambulance called out ASAR shortly after 10 p.m. to assist with an ATV rider approximately 20 km up a logging road toward Mount Arrowsmith.

“The individual had gone over a steep embankment, sustained unknown injuries and required evacuation to an ambulance,” said ASAR member Barry Blair.

“What at first appeared to be a somewhat regular stretcher evacuation a short distance off a logging road turned out to be more complicated.”

ASAR members arrived to a scene well lit by the other members of the ATV group, but it turned out the injured person was stuck about fifty meters away across a gully. The man had been moved up to a bridge, which turned out to be partially demolished, only extending halfway across the gully.

While planning the removal, an ASAR member administering first aid determined that the patient likely had severe internal injuries including possibly broken ribs and hip, with concern about possible internal bleeding and spinal damage.

Blair said the situation was further complicated because the man had been moved into a small SUV and severe pain made it hard to move him. Unable to get him out through the passenger door they ended up sliding a spine board under him and removing him through the back hatch.

Meanwhile ASAR members had improvised a small platform two metres below the bridge using a folding table top from their equipment vehicle and two 2×6’s found at the site.

The man was lowered in a stretcher to the rescuers and taken to a waiting ambulance.

“This could not have been done as quickly or as smoothly without the assistance of the man’s friends and family who also came to his aid,” Blair said.

He said it was an unusual situation for the ASAR volunteers that “required quite a bit of ingenuity and improvisation. This successful operation was quite unique and those involved performed well.”

Blair stressed that the assistance from the other riders was crucial and a good reminder not to go into the wild alone.

“Had he not been riding with a group the outcome could have been far worse for everyone – the rider, his friends and his family.”

Arrowsmith Search and Rescue is a fully volunteer organization and is looking for new members. Visit www.asar.ca for more information.

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