For most of my career, I have worked as a Forester on the west coast of Canada. The work has often taken me into some very beautiful, but inhospitable places where the only way in and out is by boat, helicopter, or a long, slow trip in a 4X4. If things went sideways and someone got injured, it would be great to know that there would be a quick way to get medical attention and transport to hospital. Now, there is an option for advanced medical care in remote, austere, wilderness environments.
The author getting picked up
TEAAM Aeromedical is a not-for-profit organization that provides advanced medical care in virtually any situation that their partner, Blackcomb Helicopters, can get them into. Some places require the medical personnel to be lowered by a hoist-equipped helicopter; this allows medical care to be delivered on site and throughout the journey to the hospital.
Miles Randell founded TEAAM because he saw the need for this type of service for those that work and recreate in the backcountry of the South Coast. I have long thought there is a need for an organization like TEAAM in the places I have worked for most of my career. When I decided to start sharing the stories of our customers, I wanted TEAAM to be the first, as I would like to get the word out about their great organization. In addition to this article, you can also view an interview with Miles on our new YouTube Channel – EX-Gear Pro’s Pack Media.
TEAAM has a roster of paramedics, nurses, physicians, and technical rescue specialists that can be called on to provide the mix of skills needed to deliver advanced medical care. They have access to advanced primary care equipment in the aircraft and carried on their person. The gear transported in the aircraft includes:
- Medical kit – trauma supplies and pharmaceuticals
- Monitor Defibrillator
- Automatic CPR Device
- Vacuum Spine Board
I was pleasantly surprised to see that our Jervis Chest Pack was being used by TEAAM personnel to carry both medical supplies and equipment, as well as personal survival gear. Although the pack was designed to carry a tablet computer, it works well for carrying the gear that TEAAM personnel need to have on their person, when dealing with a medical emergency in a remote location. The Jervis Pack is being used to carry the following items:
- Two-way Radio
- Knife with Window cutter
- Tourniquet and Combat Gauze
- Personal Locator beacon
- GPS unit
- Waterproof notepad
- Pruning Saw – both for survival and to brush out a helipad
- Survival kit – includes a saw, fire starting, signaling, and shelter-building equipment
- Food bars
- Instant Coffee
- Crash Scissors
- Medical gloves
- Intravenous start supplies
The TEAAM personnel are wearing the Jervis pack on top of the harness that is used to safely tether them to the aircraft hoist. The chest pack does not interfere with the use of the hoist and facilitates quick access to the emergency medical gear as soon as they hit the ground. Also, in the event that the weather closes in and the patient and TEAAM personnel cannot be extracted, they have access to survival gear.
Funding for TEAAM is provided by a patronage program. In the event of an emergency, patrons can activate TEAAM and ensure the prompt delivery of medical care and transport to hospital. Patrons are still responsible for the cost of the rescue, but receive a reduced rate.
Please spread the word about the great work that TEAAM is doing! If you work or play in the South Coast, I hope you will support TEAAM by becoming a patron. You can learn more about TEAAM by visiting their website: https://www.teaam.ca