Coast Guard assists CAL FIRE in medevac of auto accident victim

ALAMEDA, Calif. — The Coast Guard assisted the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection in the medical evacuation of an auto accident victim who was injured after losing control of her vehicle and colliding with a tree while driving southbound on Highway 101 near Orick, Calif., this morning.

At approximately 10:01 a.m., Chief Petty Officer Alan Cox and Ensign Andrew Jarolimek, watchstanders from Coast Guard Group Humboldt Bay, received the initial report of the injured 64-year-old woman involved in single vehicle accident from CAL FIRE personnel already on scene. CAL FIRE personnel determined that due to the severity of the woman’s injuries, evacuation by air would be the safest and most expeditious means of transportation to a local hospital. Cox and Jarolimek diverted an HH-65C Dolphin helicopter, from Air Station Humboldt Bay, already in the immediate area, to the scene.

After determining the urgent need for advanced medical care, Petty Officer 3rd Class Joe Brinkley and Petty Officer 2nd Class Ian McPhillips, both members of the flight crew, and Matt Busher, a CAL FIRE paramedic, quickly prepared the woman for the medevac and provided medical attention while en route to the Mad River Hospital in Arcata, Calif. The rescue helicopter arrived at the hospital at 11:06 a.m., where the injured woman received additional medical attention.

The woman was last listed in critical condition.

“The woman was transferred to the hospital in the safest and most timely manner due to good coordination between the Coast Guard and its partner agency CAL FIRE.” said Lt. j.g. Adam Wolfe, a helicopter pilot who participated in the medevac. “While the Coast Guard is typically know for rescues of life and property at sea, rescue personnel train regularly and are properly equipped to respond to inland emergencies.”

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