A 15-year-old Bow Islander needed to be airlifted to a Calgary hospital on April 20 after getting his leg caught in an industrial machine at a construction site.
Bow Island fire chief Kelly Byam says the department was called to the workplace around 11:15 a.m. and almost immediately after called for HALO.
“We didn’t have what we needed, so we went to a local welding shop and they brought a cutting torch over and they went to work on it with our assistance,” said Byam.
“We did eventually get him out, but it was a great help by the local welding company.”
HALO took the injured worker to Bassano, from where he was airlifted again to Calgary by STARS.
Byam said the worker is still hospitalized as of April 26.
“Last I’ve heard, they were able to save his leg, but it’s still early to see what the final result will be.
“All things considered, he did survive the ordeal, so that’s definitely a step in the right direction,” he said.
HALO executive director J.D. Gaetan says that although they can fly to Calgary, they collaborated with STARS to avoid stretching HALO’s resources too thin.
“We just dropped him off in Bassano and that way we can get the helicopter back in our area quicker, so we don’t lose our resource,” said Gaetan.
“We can keep it in case there’s another call.”
Since STARS has a twin-engine helicopter, it’s able to land at more hospital in Calgary than HALO’s single engine, he added.
“We can go to some hospitals in Calgary, just not all of them,” said Gaetan.
“A lot of the helipads in Calgary require the twin engine, which we’ll be getting soon hopefully.”
Occupational Health and Safety is currently investigating the workplace incident.