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Injured ATV rider rescued in Beaver Creek

Second ATV rescue in three days for emergency crews, including search and rescue
Rescue crews from Beaver Creek Volunteer Fire Department, Alberni Valley Rescue Squad and BC Ambulance retrieve a woman injured in a quadding accident on Saturday, July 7, 2018. PHOTO COURTESY BEAVER CREEK VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPT.

A woman has been rescued in Beaver Creek following a quadding accident on Saturday, July 7.

Crews from the Beaver Creek Volunteer Fire Department, Alberni Valley Rescue Squad and BC Ambulance were called out to the end of Bainbridge Road and the railroad tracks, close to the Log Train Trail, late Saturday morning for the rescue.

“A young lady injured her back and needed assistance…to get her out,” said Beaver Creek VFD Chief Charlie Starratt.

“She was on a quad. I don’t know if she fell off or hit a bump and landed hard but she hit her back so she couldn’t walk.”

The rescue took emergency personnel two-and-a-half hours, he added, due to the remoteness of the site.

This was the second rescue of a quadder in three days in Beaver Creek. Thursday evening, the same emergency crews were called out to a remote location at the end of Beaver Creek Road near Comox Main to rescue an older man who had been thrown from his quad.

“He was coming down the road and there was a decommissioned culvert, and he hit it really hard,” Starratt said. “He was thrown about 20 feet. It could have been much more serious.”

Both accidents were at least a kilometre into the bush, meaning paramedics, volunteer firefighters and volunteer search and rescue members were required to team up to bring the patients to safety. “Good teamwork with my guys and the rescue squad,” Starratt said.

Alberni Valley Rescue Squad had 12 members present for Saturday’s rescue, and 10 for last Thursday’s. “The reason we bring so many people is people tire quickly on stretcher carries,” search manager and AVRS president Dave Poulsen said.

The search and rescue squad has a specialized basket stretcher with an off-road wheel designed to be used in the bush, he added. “It basically takes the weight of the stretcher and allows us to balance it…It’s a smoother ride.”

SAR members have ATV or utility task vehicle (UTV) certification and some have advanced medical skills, so they are trained to bring immobilized patients out of the bush.

“Anything that’s off-road by default falls to us because fire departments aren’t set up to deal with off-road transportation,” he said.

Starratt said it’s not unusual to have calls in the summer to help people in quadding accidents, although two in three days is. “We get several every year. People need to be careful,” he said.

Poulsen said AVRS has already had six or eight calls this summer, for ATV accidents, and hikers who got into trouble. An issue that has arisen for the rescue squad this summer more than others is locked gates barring their access to backcountry rescues. Poulsen said AVRS will have to renew efforts to contact logging companies for better access.

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Susie Quinn

About the Author: Susie Quinn

A journalist since 1987, I have been the Alberni Valley News editor since August 2006.
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