A Search and Rescue (SAR) team from Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island conducted a Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) from Lopez Island on Friday, March 8, 2019.
A SAR team responded to a call that came after 6 a.m. to pick up a 94-year-old female patient suffering from heart problems at Lopez Island. By approximately 7:15 a.m. the SAR team landed at Lopez Island Airport where the patient was transferred from an ambulance to the helicopter. They transported the patient to PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham landing just before 8 a.m. to transfer her to higher care.
NAS Whidbey Island SAR has conducted ten total missions throughout Washington State this year, including one search, two rescues and seven medical evacuations.
The Navy SAR unit operates three MH-60S helicopters from NAS Whidbey Island as search and rescue/medical evacuation (SAR/MEDEVAC) platforms for the EA-18G aircraft as well as other squadrons and personnel assigned to the installation. Pursuant to the National SAR Plan of the United States, the unit may also be used for civil SAR/MEDEVAC needs to the fullest extent practicable on a non-interference basis with primary military duties according to applicable national directives, plans, guidelines and agreements; specifically, the unit may launch in response to tasking by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (based on a Washington State Memorandum of Understanding) for inland missions, and/or tasking by the United States Coast Guard for all other aeronautical and maritime regions, when other assets are unavailable.