The Ucluelet Volunteer Fire Brigade put their recently earned first aid certifications to the test when they helped rescue a woman who had fallen off the Wild Pacific Trail near the Amphitrite Lighthouse on Oct. 25.
The woman dislocated her arm and was stuck in the rocks after tumbling down a roughly three-metre embankment, according to Ucluelet’s fire chief Ted Eeftink.
Eeftink said the brigade secured the woman into an emergency basket and used a low angle rope technique to pull her to safety.
“They stabilized her, put her in the basket and got her up to the ambulance as quickly as possible because she was in a fair bit of pain,” he said adding she was in an ambulance within an hour of emergency responders arriving around 11 a.m.
He noted about 12 members of the brigade have received their first responder first aid certification since April, allowing them to assist the local BC Ambulance Service (BCAS).
“Everybody has gone heads-on with it, they’ve really gone forward with the whole program,” he said. “They’re motivated to help BCAS out as much as possible because we realize we only have one ambulance here.”
He said the training required to receive the certification is “intense” and he was proud to see his crew take it on.
“It’s not something we had to do, it’s something we wanted to do,” he said.
“They’re a really great bunch of guys and the motivation is just incredible to have that many members dedicated to helping out like that…They do an awesome job and the district is really lucky that we have these guys that want to do this.”
In light of the incident, Wild Pacific Trail manager ‘Oyster’ Jim Martin is urging trail users to stay on the trail.
“That provides a safe viewing platform for you to walk about the headland and see the sights without being in extreme danger,” he said adding there are plenty of picturesque views to enjoy safely without flirting with danger.
“You don’t have to go off the trail but a lot of people do and we just need to stress that if you leave the trail bed you can be in extreme danger…if you go off the trail you’re just asking for trouble.”