Thursday, November 1, 2007

Trick, no Treat

Hunting is not for the faint of heart. I mean that literally. It involves strenuous physical activity, typically at high altitude and often in adverse weather conditions. The Search and Rescue calls we get involving hunters are pretty evenly divided between horse wrecks, shooting mishaps and heart attacks. The call that came in at dinner time last night involved the latter.

I had just turned on the flame under the salmon when the pager went off. A male in his late fifties from the (low altitude) eastern part of the country, was hunting deer with a group of friends about 25 miles west of Cody when he had sudden chest pain. The salmon went in the fridge, the cat went in the garage and Ken and I went in the car and headed for town. We arrived at the hall just as the second truck was pulling out with the trailer carrying our ATV's. On the way to staging it was decided to place Ken at the nearest helicopter landing site with one of the other rescuers while I went on to help carry out the patient. Because of the terrain the closest we could get a chopper was about three miles away and with the early darkness it was going to be critical to the safety of the medivac personnel to have a well marked and lit landing zone for the helicopter. There were seven of us - including two EMT's from the Cody hospital - that went in to find the patient and get him out to his ride. It was basically a flawless evacuation. We found the guy quickly, the EMT's did their thing which included administering nitroglycerin, we loaded him on the stretcher and transported him to the trailhead where he was then taken by ambulance to the waiting helicopter. We were back home, tired and hungry but otherwise happy, by 11pm and the patient was by then at the cardiac unit in Idaho Falls. I wish all rescues could be that smooth!

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