Police chopper comes to rescue on Little Cayman

| 30/11/2018 | 19 Comments
Cayman News Service

RCIPS helicopter on the shoreline of Little Cayman

(CNS): The RCIPS Air Operations Unit carried out two emergency medical evacuations from Little Cayman in less than 48 hours this week after two women in two separate incidents needed to be airlifted to the George Town hospital on Grand Cayman. The first was on Tuesday evening, when a woman who had been diving had decompression issues; and the second came early Thursday morning, when a woman sustained a head injury after crashing her scooter. Both victims are undergoing treatment.

“Medevacs from Little Cayman are rare, but two within the space of two days is unprecedented,” said Acting Superintendent Brad Ebanks, Head of Specialist Operations. “We hope that this continues to be a rare occurrence but are really pleased at the same time that the AOU was able to efficiently render critical assistance in these life threatening situations.”

On Tuesday, 27 November, at around 5:55pm, the Air Operations Unit had collected the woman who had decompression problems after her dive. It took the chopper around 45 minutes to get her into the hands of medical personnel on Grand Cayman who were awaiting the arrival.

Then, around 3:30am on Thursday the unit received an urgent call for the helicopter to transfer the injured woman from Little Cayman after the collision, which had happened about an hour previously while she was on her way home.

Medical staff and equipment were taken on board the chopper, which left Grand Cayman around 4:45am and returned from Little Cayman with the injured woman around 6:15am. The helicopter landed on the Cricket Pitch at Huldah Avenue, where the patient was immediately handed over to the EMS personnel awaiting their arrival and taken directly to the hospital for further medical treatment.

The current police helicopter is fulfilling a number of roles, from search and rescue to tracking criminals on the run, but it will soon be joined by a second machine, after the government confirmed recently that CIG has partnered with the UK to purchase a new purpose-built chopper to help with search and rescue, medical emergencies and regional disaster relief.

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Category: Health, health and safety

Comments (19)

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  1. Ron Ebanks says:

    I completely agree with the chopper services between the Islands in which is good in emergencies in life and death . But what is the use of having Medical facilities on the Islands and don’t use them , like in this diving accident on Little Cayman. Is Cayman Brac alot closer to Little Cayman than Grand Cayman ? Did Cayman Brac have the facility that was needed ? Why did the patient have to be flown back to GC ?
    Maybe someone should explain why the nearest facility was not utilized in this case . Is this a case where a human life is played against the value of money .

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    • Anonymous says:

      If she had decompression sickness, she would have needed to go in the decompression chamber and that is only on grand cayman.

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      • Ron Ebanks says:

        10:09pm , what is the Hospital on Cayman Brac ? And isn’t there a decompression chamber of the east side of that Hospital in the Brac ? Please update me it’s been a long time that I have been to Brac .

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    • Anonymous says:

      Simple answer.

      Both injured had to get to a medical facility fast.

      Dive victim needed needed to be in the decompression chamber in – Grand Cayman.

      Road accident victim needed best medical facility – Grand Cayman.

      Both flights were justified.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Appears the airfields were closed, and never seen a plane land on the cricket pitch. Or for that matter on a helipad at Brac hospital. Ever seen a plane land at Health City. Probably best idea is too have a multifunction helicopter, or is that too obvious.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Kudos to RCIPS and the Medical team! Nothing more precious than life!

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  4. Anonymous says:

    In most places, the chopper would not be the story.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Why did they fly the woman with decompression issues to Grand Cayman? Isn’t there a decompression chamber at the eastern end of Faith Hospital on Cayman Brac?
    Really makes you wonder why all the money was spent on the decompression chamber if it isn’t used when needed.

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    • Anonymous says:

      To 1:25 PM – yes there is a hyperbaric chamber at the southeasternmost point of Faith Hospital. It has been there for years and years – understand that it is not officially run by HSA. Maybe HSA can provide some clarification to the public.

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    • Ron Ebanks says:

      Anonymous 1: 25 pm , in this case it looks like the decompression chamber was built for bragging rights , or just for the Cayman Brac divers only . But it sure looks funny and funky to me too . I think that issue come down to the way of how government is developing the Islands for convenience verses money . Meaning that the Brac can have a decompression chamber built but can’t except patients because it would deprive government entity of money or someone else.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    This is why it’s a good idea to have a chopper in Cayman.

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    • Anonymous says:

      How come, years ago, when a certain doctor based on Cayman Brac (who had his own plane) was not offered some sort of deal to carry patients for inter island service? Seems like it would be a good thing if there are people like this doctor who come supplement/assist, instead of having to rely upon the police helicopter travelling over from Grand Cayman. Common Sense?

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      • Anonymous says:

        If you knew anything about aviation, using the words “doctor” and “his own plane” in the same statement would do more than raise a few eyebrows with what you just proposed !

    • Anonymous says:

      Could a fixed-wing craft have performed the medevacs to the same standard or better (more space) for the same or less overall cost? – All these incidents proved is that we occasionally need an air ambulance, not what the best air ambulance is.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Now this is a good thing to waste gas on

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    • Anonymous says:

      What a stupid, moronic, idiotic thing to say – waste gas – if it was one of your loved ones, family members, friends would you say the same thing? Oh and news flash, most of us damn expats/foreigners/visitors have to pay for such services – not fortunate enough to have CINICO.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you 1:31PM for stating the obvious – we don’t expect that the Cayman Islands Government is going to eat the cost of providing urgent airlift out of Little Cayman – just like we all paid to relax in Little Cayman, we will pay our medical expenses – so 11:02AM can rest assured that his/her government is not wasting gas on us.

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      • Anonymous says:

        it was meant to be a good thing… I meant since they just waste gas flying around aimlessly… this gas was used for a good deed. sorry you took it the wrong way

    • Anonymous says:

      Really? How cold hearted can you get! Like another poster said – how about if it was you or one of your loved ones who needed the service. I for one, am proud that we have the facility and can possibly save lives.
      Or is this just badly expressed?

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