NAS Whidbey Island SAR Medically Evacuates Friday Harbor Resident
NAVAL AIR STATION WHIDBEY ISLAND, Wash. – A Search and Rescue (SAR) team from Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island conducted an evening Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) on Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, from the San Juan Islands.
The SAR crew of six took off around 7:30 in the evening and transited to the Friday Harbor Airport to pick up a 79-year-old male suffering from heart and kidney failure. They then flew the patient to the Skagit Valley Hospital in Mt. Vernon, Wash.
“The weather was a real challenge this evening, but the crew did a great job of getting the patient in and out of the helicopter expeditiously,” said SAR Mission Commander Lt. Jared Wada. “It was a well-orchestrated team effort between maintenance, the crew, and the hospital staffs on the island and at Skagit.”
This was the first MEDEVAC of 2016 for NAS Whidbey Island SAR, which has also conducted two rescue operations this year. In 2015 the unit conducted 19 Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) missions, 11 searches and seven rescues, resulting in 29 lives delivered to higher level care.
The Navy SAR unit operates three MH-60S helicopters from NAS Whidbey Island as search and rescue platforms for the EA-18G aircraft as well as other squadrons and personnel assigned to the installation. The base also has an agreement to assist Washington State with medical evacuations and search and rescue activities.