Chopper rescues diver in med emergency

| 26/05/2015 | 9 Comments
Cayman News Service

RCIPS helicopter at the Little Cayman airstrip

(CNS): The police helicopter was in action as an air ambulance on Tuesday when it airlifted a 64-year-old tourist from Little Cayman. The man, who was visiting from the United States, was diving when he suffered medical problems. The diver received primary care from medical personnel in Little Cayman but the RCIPS chopper was deployed with a specialist dive doctor from the Cayman Islands Hospital. 

The visitor was stabilized and transported back to Grand Cayman and taken to the George Town hospital from the airport with the doctor by ambulance. Police said the patient was being assessed and is now stable.

“The helicopter was especially suitable for this transfer, as the patient not only had to be moved quickly, but also at low-level to avoid any decompression complications,” an RCIPS spokesperson explained.

This is the second time this month that the helicopter has been used to help in medical emergencies. On Friday 15 May it took a surgeon and blood supplies to the Faith Hospital on Cayman Brac to help a local man who was critically ill.

The helicopter landed in the hospital’s car park allowing timely surgical intervention to save the man’s life and police say he has subsequently made a recovery.

“We are pleased that in both these cases, working with our partners in the medical services, we could make a positive impact on the patient’s outcome,” said Police Air Operations Unit Commander Steve Fitzgerald. The landing as Faith Hospital needed teamwork from the ground to clear a landing site, but also displays our versatility with the helicopter we fly.”

The two successful medical rescues could prove timely for the RCIPS as they are about to face Finance Committee and budget scrutiny in the coming days. Legislators are expected to complete the budget debate before the end of this week when Finance Committee will begin. As legislators drill down into government’s spending plan, the police budget of more than $35 million is likely to draw the usual close scrutiny from the politicians.

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Comments (9)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Sadly, the chopper didn’t actually do anything that a chartered fixed wing aircraft couldn’t have done for a fraction of the cost.

    • Anonymous says:

      Have you priced a chartered air ambulance lately?

    • Anonymous says:

      “27/05/2015 at 5:40 pm” did you even read the whole article before commenting? How often have you heard of “a chartered fixed wing aircraft” landing in a hospital parking lot … and then taking off again a few minutes later?

    • Anonymous says:

      Not only did it land in a car park, it flew at low level to avoid the pressure change . And are you aware it costs at least $5,000 an hour for a charter. And they do it now, not tomorrow!

      Give them a break.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Good thing we didn’t need to buy a chopper for medical emergency response or that could legally/safely fly beteen islands. – Lets hear it for retrofitting.

  3. Anonymous says:

    $35mln is the same as some smaller North American cities with >200k populations, and they still somehow mange to run their own helicopter fleet and traffic departments over there. Which invites the evaluation: where is our money going, and to what effect?

    • Anonymous says:

      What are you on about??? Helicopter ‘fleet’ How many American cities with population of 200k have Islands and water surrounding them, and have national support for all their security. Hmmmm

  4. Anonymous says:

    I’m glad the chopper program wasn’t scrapped!

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