One of our members undertook a rather unusual rescue in March earlier this year. Trainee team members were attending RAF Valley to receive winch training when 22 Squadron got a call-out for a ‘wet job’. Expecting the worst NEWSAR members began to pack up, fearing that any chance of being winched that day had just evaporated. However, trainee, Dr Tom Beach, was about to get more helicopter training than he had bargained on!
As details of the job came in, crew members from 22 Squadron asked if anyone in NEWSARs number was a doctor. Without hesitation, and the words barely out of their mouth, our Tom was helping himself into a flight suit & being handed a helmet. It was then into the Sea King helicopter & off to a cargo ship somewhere in the Irish Sea to respond to the call for help.
More information was gathered in-flight & it became clear that the call-out was to a gentleman in his 50’s that had experienced a seizure earlier that morning. He had no history of epilepsy and, worryingly, there was the possibility that he had suffered a head injury the day before.
After landing on the ships helipad Tom and the RAF paramedic winch-man were escorted below decks to the medical bay. After initial assessment it was found that the patient was fortunately relatively stable. He was, therefore, removed to the Sea King for a rapid evacuation to hospital. After around a 30 minute flight the patient was delivered safely to Aintree University Hospital, which, although not the nearest facility, was felt to be the most appropriate because of both its status as a regional trauma centre & also the ready access to tertiary neurological care on site.
Move over RNLI, Mountain Rescue is branching out!