NAVAL AIR STATION WHIDBEY ISLAND, Wash. – A Search and Rescue (SAR) team of six from Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island conducted two separate Medical Evacuations (MEDEVACs) on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016.
Yesterday morning SAR Alert crew responded to a call for help from Whidbey General Hospital to transport a 59-year-old stroke patient to Harborview Medical Center, Seattle. The crew received the call at 10:07 a.m. The patient arrived at NAS Whidbey Island’s Search and Rescue Hangar at 10:35 a.m. and the crew launched at 10:40 a.m. The patient was turned over to a higher level of care at 11:10 a.m. and then the crew returned to NAS Whidbey Island.
At 2:10 p.m. the same SAR Alert crew received its second call to help transport a patient to Providence Medical Center. The crew launched at 2:40 p.m. and proceeded directly to Whidbey General Hospital, arriving there at 2:45 p.m. After loading the patient, the crew departed the hospital at 2:50 p.m. and proceeded directly to Snohomish County Airport (Paine Field) where an ambulance was waiting to transport the patient to the hospital and a higher level of care.
Search and Rescue Mission Commander, Lt. Josh Cochrane said, “The weather posed the greatest risk for these missions, but the crew worked flawlessly together to deliver both patients to a higher level of care.”
These were the ninth and 10th Medical Evacuation missions in 2016 for NAS Whidbey Island SAR, which has also conducted 12 searches and 22 rescues this year. 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.