The RCIPS Air Operations Unit is now classified as one of the first helicopter emergency medical service of its kind. Four officers are now certified emergency medical responders – thanks to a joint initiative between the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority and the police.
“This partnership between the RCIPS and the HSA will serve to assist in the delivery of first basic life support in a timely fashion, and in areas that would be normally inaccessible to conventional road vehicles,” Sergeant Neil Mohammed, said.
The goal is to certify all officers in the Air Operations Unit. In addition, helicopter awareness and safety training for the paramedics is under way, which will allow them to be deployed onboard the helicopter when needed.
“It’s important because it actually improves out response time to getting to the victim. Whereas we would perhaps have to drive there and then hike through the bushes for example –the helicopter can actually go to the scene with the personnel who are now trained in emergency medical procedures –they can respond to that call in a very timely manner,” Health Services Authority CEO, Lizzette Yearwood said.
The Cayman Heart Fund has also donated a defibrillator for the helicopter worth thousands of dollars to help save lives.
“The AED that the Cayman Heart Fund will be that vital link between life and death,” Dr. Sook Yin said.
And despite the time and money spent on these new initiatives, the commissioner says its definetly worth it since there is no price on saving a life.
“It is a huge asset. It’s not lost on me that it’s expensive. But let me ask you this. What price do you put on one single life? And this has saved several already. It will save more in the future,” Police Commissioner David Baines, said.
Officials say it will not replace the service provided by paramedics, but simply enhance and supplement it for the benefit of the community.