I'm at work now with a little down time so I thought I would add something to our blog.
Down time is a good thing. If I’m busy it means someone is having a bad day.
A little about my work.
I work as a flight paramedic. I am based in Bethel Alaska. Bethel is on the Kuskokwim River 400 air miles west of Anchorage. There are two paramedics on each team. We have three teams that each work 5 days on 10 days off. We are on call 24 hours a day for the 5 days that we are in Bethel. We are the only medevac team in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, (Y-K Delta), area. We cover 57 villages most of which have runways. For the villages that do not have runways or when the weather is too bad for our fixed wing aircraft the Alaska National Guard flies us in their Blackhawk helicopter that is stationed in Bethel.
The temperatures in the Y-K Delta can get up to 80 degrees F in the summer and as low as minus 50 degrees F in the winter.
Most of the people we serve are either Yupik Eskimo or Athabascan Indian. The villages have populations from about 100 to about 900.
Our primary response area is known as the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.
Our medevac aircraft is a Cessna Grand Caravan.
Inside our office.
Sometimes we deliver babies.
Often they are premies (premature) so we have an isolett to keep them
warm and to transport them in.
Most of the time we pick up our
patients from a village clinic and transport them to the Bethel Hospital
when their condition is too severe for the local Community Health Aid
to take care of. Then if the patient is too severe for the Bethel
hospital one of our Anchorage based crews in a Lear Jet or King Air will
transport the patient to Anchorage or a specialty hospital somewhere in
the lower 48.
Some of the runways that we land on are small.
The Village Health Aids that we work with have the
hardest job in health care in Alaska. They are usually from the village
that they work in. Often they are the only local health care provider in
their village. A few villages have first responders that will help the
Community Health Aids, (CHAs).
Sometimes when the weather gets bad the CHAs my have to take care of the patients for days.
Some of the clinics are small and not too well equipped.
We have a few Sub-Regional Clinics that are newer and well equipped.
Yup.....I love my job!