Helicopter called to assist VSAR with injured Kamloops snow biker - InfoNews

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Helicopter called to assist VSAR with injured Kamloops snow biker

The helicopter was called to assist an injured Kamloops snow biker on Park Mountain near Lumby on Feb. 23, 2019. Two rescue technicians and a stretcher were brought to the scene, and the helicopter was able to land a short distance away.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/VSAR
February 24, 2019 - 1:00 PM

LUMBY - Vernon Search and Rescue were called to an incident north of Lumby yesterday, where a Kamloops man injured his back while snow biking.

The Kamloops man was attending a snow bike event at Park Mountain when he hit a small gully and was thrown off his bike, a media release says.

VSAR’s public information officer, Trevor Honigman happened to be at the same event.

“With the variable weather it was very flat light and very difficult to see terrain, and he hit a really large suppression very hard,” Honigman says in a phone interview.

Moments before he had been enjoying the deep powdery snow with a group of snow bikers who had watched him fall. When they went to check on him they realized he was injured and called for help on their radios.

“I happened to be up there with them riding snow bike,” Honigman says, “So I was a couple hundred meters away and a quick assessment showed that he had some pretty serious— potentially serious injuries.”

The man reported being in serious pain, which lead those present to call 9-11.

“He impacted very hard and knew he hurt his back, but wasn’t sure the extent of his injuries,” Honigman says in the release, “his riding group did the right thing by keeping him immobile and calling for help without moving him.”

Peter Darbyshire with Provincial Health Services says the call came in at 11:43 a.m.

VSAR was then mobilized and their Helicopter Winch team was called in.

“The remote location and challenging terrain meant that an extraction by ground would have been potentially harmful to the subject,” Honigman says in the release. “His significant pain indicated a serious injury, and the trip down the mountain on a stretcher behind a snowmobile would have been a challenge.”

While waiting for the rescue teams, the man was kept immobile as the group made a small fire to keep him warm.

When the helicopter arrived two rescue technicians and a stretcher were brought to the scene, and the aircraft was able to land a short distance away.

The injured man was then extracted by helicopter to Vernon Regional Airport, and finally transported by ambulance to the Vernon Jubilee Hospital.

Honigman says he is expected to make a full recovery and has since been released from hospital.

Ground search and rescue teams arrive to help secure the man to a clamshell stretcher with spinal immobilization.  He is being kept warm with a specialized stretcher package and loaded aboard the helicopter.
Ground search and rescue teams arrive to help secure the man to a clamshell stretcher with spinal immobilization. He is being kept warm with a specialized stretcher package and loaded aboard the helicopter.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/VSAR

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shelby Thevenot or call (250) 819-6089 or email the editor You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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