The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service helicopter transported an 81-year-old man from North Side to George Town on Wednesday.
Harold Ebanks, suffering chest and back pains, was flown out of North Side rather than taken by road because the district’s ambulance was on another call when the 911 call was patched through Wednesday morning.
Police received a call from 911 around 10.40am informing them that the helicopter would likely be needed to medevac the patient, who had been assessed in his home by a fire service emergency medical responder.
“It had been determined that the man required to attend hospital for further assessment and attention; however, the North Side ambulance was engaged with another medical call. In the interests of time, and the need to ensure that the patient received medical care as quickly as possible, 911 dispatched the police helicopter with an HSA paramedic and the RCIPS emergency medical responder trained crew, configured as an air ambulance,” read a statement from the police service.
The fire service blocked off roads in the area to allow the helicopter to land at the entrance to Hutland Road. The patient was flown to Owen Roberts International Airport, where he was picked up by a waiting ambulance and taken to Cayman Islands Hospital.
This was the second police helicopter medevac in just over a week. On Tuesday, 2 July, the helicopter transported a 62-year-old man from Little Cayman to Grand Cayman. The patient had been suffering from a suspected heart complaint and was medevaced along with a paramedic by the RCIPS Air Operations Unit as no other options were available.
Steve Fitzgerald, the officer in charge of the RCIPS Air Operations Unit, said, “The versatility and speed of response of the helicopter and the training of our crews, together with our partnerships with the HSA and other agencies, ensure that we are continuing to maximise the potential for the benefit of the people of the Cayman Islands, residents and visitors alike.”
After its crew underwent training as medical responders last year, the police helicopter has been able to double as an ambulance. It is fitted out with a stretcher, oxygen, a heart defibrillator and other medical equipment.