New elite medical team launched to answer calls in B.C.’s most remote locations

Click to play video: 'Lift off for new B.C. rescue team'
Lift off for new B.C. rescue team
WATCH: A new medically trained group is at work lending a hand in rescues of people hurt in the backcountry. Kristen Robinson reports – Jun 2, 2018

A new group of experts is looking to answer the call when people need medical attention in B.C.’s most remote locations.

The Technical Evacuation Advanced Aero Medical Society (TEAAM) is made up of paramedics and physicians dedicated to providing crucial life support and training in long-line helicopter rescues.

TEAAM hopes to fill a need in underserved areas like forestry work sites and remote First Nations, and serve as an additional tool for search-and-rescue crews.

Using methods more commonly seen in Europe and Australia, the group will use choppers equipped with hoists and long lines to rescue injured workers at logging and industrial sites when time is of the essence.

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North Shore Rescue on track for record year

“Hoisting is an incredibly effective aero medical tool because we can put a medic at a patient’s side at just about any terrain and then hoist the medic and the patient into the aircraft without any delay,” TEAAM President Miles Randell said.

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Randell said once inside the helicopter, patients will be in good hands. Crews will consist of ER doctors, critical care nurses, anesthesiologists, and technical rescue specialists.

“There will always be a high level of medical care,” Randell said.

Randell notes that TEAAM will not replace search-and-rescue crews, but rather work to complement the province’s 2,500 search-and-rescue volunteers who respond to more than 1,600 incidents each year.

TEAAM has a patronage plan in place so employers and organizations that call for help can to help share costs.

It’s also looking for government support for a service it says will save money and lives.

— With files from Kristen Robinson

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