NAVAL AIR STATION WHIDBEY ISLAND, Wash. – A Search and Rescue (SAR) team from Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island conducted a Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) on Wednesday, March 23, 2016, from Whidbey General Hospital in Coupeville, Wash.
The SAR crew of five took off around 9:30 p.m. to pick up a pregnant patient suffering from a fetal emergency. After picking up the patient at the helicopter pad at Whidbey General Hospital, the crew flew to Snohomish County Airport (Paine Field) in Everett, Wash. A paramedic crew was waiting at the airfield Fire Station when the helicopter landed and the patient was transferred with no issues.
“The weather was extremely tough and we encountered really heavy winds and rain throughout the flight. Thanks to good communication within our crew and externally with ground crews at the hospital and airfield, we were able to safely get the job done tonight,” said SAR Crew Chief Naval Aircrewman Second Class Ricardo Rosado. “Every time we are able to get out and give back to our community, it validates the effort we put into our training.”
This was the fifth MEDEVAC of 2016 for NAS Whidbey Island SAR, which has also conducted four rescue operations this year. In 2015 the unit conducted 19 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.