Coast Guard medevacs injured atv rider

USCG file photo

FORTUNA, Calif. – Coast Guard Air Station Humboldt Bay was contacted Friday afternoon by California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection that a helicopter medevac was needed for an injured all terrain vehicle rider in the Eel River Basin between Fortuna and Ferndale, Calif.

The rider, a 28-year-old male, was operating a quad with a group of friends when he fell off and was badly injured.

Ferndale Fire was the first to respond on scene followed by paramedics from the City Ambulance of Eureka. Once stabilized, an attempt was made to drive the rider out of the basin in agency trucks. However, even the short transit to a suitable helicopter landing zone proved difficult and confirmed thoughts that a jolting car ride was not a viable option for a patient with severe injuries.

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter was launched from Air Station Humboldt Bay as the California Highway Patrol marked out a landing zone in the basin. Upon the Coast Guard’s arrival, the rider was loaded into the helicopter on a stretcher along with a local paramedic to provide in-flight care. They were flown to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Eureka where he is reported in stable condition.

The paramedics on scene strongly encourage the continued use of protective gear, but warns not to be lured into a false sense of security. “People tend to think they are invincible once they put on protective gear, but they need to be careful and realize the possibility for injury still exists.”

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