Monday, June 13, 2011

Paraglider Crash Brings Multi-Agency Response

Blossom Valley-

On Monday, June 13, 2011 at 5:56 p.m., the Lakeside Fire Protection District received a call from a downed paraglider pilot who stated he was below the Blossom Gliderport and believed he was severely injured. A full rescue response was dispatched that included two engine companies, a rescue company, ALS medic unit, and a battalion chief.

Lakeside paramedics initiated advanced life support upon arriving at scene.
As Battalion Chief Ron Laff accessed the area, he could see the collapsed canopy of the victim's glider significantly below the jump-off point at the glider port. A request was made for ASTREA from the San Diego County Sheriff's Department to respond and assist ground units in locating the victim. The crew from Rescue 3 and Medic 3 loaded their equipment into a four wheel drive unit and accessed the area.

The patient is hoisted to Copter 12.
A CalFire crew member, and Firefighter-Paramedic Chris Williams hang onto a "tagline" as the patient is hoisted to the helicopter. The "tagline" keeps the patient from spinning once he enters the rotor-wash from the suspended helicopter.
Once over the mountain, ASTREA was able to direct crews to the victim. On their arrival, the victim had complaints suggestive of spinal injuries and fractures. The patient was also exhibiting signs of shock. Paramedics on the scene initiated advanced life support, which included IV fluids to combat the shock.

The flight crew pulls the victim into the helicopter.
Due to the extremely steep terrain, the decision was made to hoist the patient to a helicopter then rendezvous with a Mercy Air helicopter for transport to a trauma center. Copter 12 was dispatched to the scene and made radio contact with ground units. Once overhead, the air crews had to carefully evaluate the safest method to hoist the patient.

Copter 12 lands at the landing zone to transfer the patient to Mercy Air 5
Mercy Air 5 lifts off for Sharp Memorial Trauma Center
A crew member was lowered to the scene and prepared the patient for the hoist operation. After the victim was safely in Copter 12, it departed the scene to land in a nearby field so the patient could be transferred to Mercy Air 5. The patient was transported to Sharp Memorial Hospital for evaluation in the trauma center.

Agencies assisting the Lakeside Fire District include CalFire (air and ground), San Diego Sheriff Department, and Mercy Air. 

Submitted By: Fire Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire District.
Photos By: Firefighter-Paramedic Josh Raczka, Firefighter-Paramedic Chris Williams, and Firefighter Todd Welch, Lakeside Fire District

1 comment:

  1. what amazing training these crews all have! thank goodness that we protect and care for each other in this country! Thats my brother on that rescue for cal fire and it made me teary eyed to watch him at work! Thanks to all stations for their dedication!