video – Coast Guard responds to snowbound woman with medical emergency

MCKINLEYVILLE, Calif. – A crew from U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Humboldt Bay assisted the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office in the medical evacuation of a 60-year-old woman complaining of breathing difficulties near Dinsmore, Calif., today.

An ambulance crew from a local emergency medical service was unable to reach the patient’s home by road due to waist-deep snow from recent winter storms. The crew was forced to leave the ambulance and travel more than a mile on foot to the patient’s residence.

The sheriff’s office notified the air station, and an HH-65 rescue helicopter was dispatched. Once on scene, the air crew lowered two rescue swimmers to the home just as local paramedics arrived on foot.

The patient, one rescue swimmer and one of the local paramedics were hoisted into the hovering helicopter. The patient was then transported to St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka where she was transferred to awaiting staff.

The second rescue swimmer and paramedic hiked back, through the snow, to the ambulance. The paramedic drove the rescue swimmer to the hospital where the helicopter was waiting for him.

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