In early August AREVA’s team at the Kiggavik camp, about 80km west of Baker Lake, Nunavut, executed a Medical Evacuation (Medevac) exercise. This type of exercise ensures that the site emergency response procedures are adequate and the staff fully trained to potentially remove critically injured patients from the site promptly and safely. This year the scenario of this mock Medevac included an injured driller at a drill rig about 7km from the Kiggavik camp. An emergency response team of five was mobilized to the site following the mock emergency call. They completed the stabilization of the “patient” onto a spine board within the drill rig and then carried the acting-patient across the tundra to the waiting helicopter, which had been prepared to carry the stretcher. With its swift mobilization and precise emergency procedures delivery, the team demonstrated its proficiency and preparedness to deal with the potential need to evacuate workers.
This exercise comes on the heels of two recent successful rescues performed by our emergency and first aid staff within the past month for a family and a team of hunters from Baker Lake out who found themselves in an emergency situation out on the tundra. During these two occasions, the Kiggavik team demonstrated its ability to handle emergencies and also its community spirit with its timely answer to these calls for help from area residents.
Medevac exercises are integral parts of the Kiggavik camp health and safety program and are performed at least annually to ensure the emergency response team is well prepared.