Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut April 13, 2017 - 11:45 am

JRCC helps medevac man off Nunavut island

"A fairly big operation"

JANE GEORGE
A CH-149 Cormorant lands April 11 on Hatalik Island, between Qikiqtarjuaq and Clyde River, to pick up a man in need of medical treatment. (PHOTO COURTESY OF THE JRCC)
A CH-149 Cormorant lands April 11 on Hatalik Island, between Qikiqtarjuaq and Clyde River, to pick up a man in need of medical treatment. (PHOTO COURTESY OF THE JRCC)
Here's a look at the view from the Cormorant which flew to Hatalik Island April 11 on an emergency medevac. (PHOTO COURTESY OF THE JRCC)
Here's a look at the view from the Cormorant which flew to Hatalik Island April 11 on an emergency medevac. (PHOTO COURTESY OF THE JRCC)

An April 10 call for an emergency medevac on an island between Qikiqtarjuaq and Clyde River reached a successful end during the morning of April 11.

That’s when a Cormorant helicopter, which had flown in from Nova Scotia, landed at the Iqaluit airport with a man, 62, who had been airlifted off Hatalik Island, for emergency medical treatment.

For the medevac, the Emergency Measures Office of Nunavut called in for assistance the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Halifax, a rescue co-ordination centre operated by the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Canadian Coast Guard.

Search and rescue personnel parachuted to the site from a Hercules jet at about midnight April 10 and stayed with the man until the Cormorant, used for air-sea rescue, arrived April 11.

When the EMO first received word from the health department that there was a man on the land who needed medical assistance, they started looking at what aircraft—such as helicopters and airplanes with skis—were in the vicinity, said Ed Zebedee, director of protection services with the Government of Nunavut,

But as the weather—along with the man’s condition—worsened during the day, the GN’s emergency measures office decided to contact the JRCC. A Hercules was then dispatched with the SAR technicians on board.

“It’s a fairly big operation for this sort of response,” said Zebedee because a Cormorant, which takes 12 hours to reach Iqaluit, needs two flight crews to operate.

The recent medevac marked the first time that the EMO has called the rescue centre this year.

Zebedee said that, “we’re hoping we have a quiet spring, but history says no.”

In a year, EMO co-ordinates about six on-the-land medevacs but these don’t always require extra assistance to carry out, he said,

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