Thursday, July 6, 2017

Preparing for Emergencies

This time of year, the number of people in Stehekin multiplies. Although there are no roads leading in, the Lady of the Lake and Lady Express bring the majority of visitors, but people also hike in, come on private boats, fly into the airstrip, arrive on a float plane or helicopter. Once in Stehekin they have many activities to choose from - walking, hiking, biking, kayaking, horseback riding, swimming, boating, fishing, rock climbing. People spread out all over the Stehekin valley and up to the highest heights. 

Lady of the Lake pulling into Lucerne on the downlake voyage - showing a portion of the vast area at the head of Lake Chelan. [picture taken from LifeFlight Helicopter 6/30/2017 by George Templeton, RN, and Customer Service Manager for LifeFlight (Brewster)] 

During the summer there are a lot of active people participating in inherently risky adventures, however, very few need medical assistance. It's the goal of all who provide opportunities in Stehekin to keep the participants safe. But, like anywhere else, accidents happen. 
NPS employees, Lake Chelan Community Hospital EMT and Lifeflight paramedic talking about the coordination necessary to provide the best patient care.
Members of the community -private sector and NPS alike- work throughout the year to keep their skills up to date, and their certifications current: in the event of a medical emergency, the patient has the best chance at a good outcome. There is a level of cooperation and coordination that benefit all involved in an emergency.
Last week there was a training session in Stehekin. LifeFlight's helicopter and medical team flew into Stehekin for the day. They did a refresher about how to get the systems working optimally. Good communication among all caregivers is essential. [There are many behind-the-scenes scenarios of which the public is unaware. Stay tuned for future postings about these.]
LifeFlight membership: It's $65 annually, and has benefited people in Stehekin  - a drowning accident, a premature labor, a seriously burned child. LifeFlight offers an irreplaceable service, and peace of mind for visitors. LifeFlight website states - "No out-of-pocket expenses for medically necessary emergent flights if flown by Life Flight Network, even if your insurance does not cover the cost."

The arrival of highly-trained medical personnel with the medications and equipment can be lifesaving. Be prepared. (

Stehekin Heritage receives no compensation for promoting LifeFlight.