HONOLULU, Hawaii -- The Coast Guard conducted a medical evacuation of an ill 37-year-old woman from Hilo to Honolulu early Saturday morning.
“We routinely work with the state department of health and the disaster medical assistance teams to provide critical care and transport to the people of Hawaii and the greater Pacific,” said Lt. Chloe Harmon, a command duty officer with Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Honolulu. “Our Hercules aircraft are a workhorse. Their long range and our capable crews are what allow us to be so effective and a resourceful partner in such a vast infrastructure limited region."
The Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules aircrew, with an embarked Kalawao Rescue Medical Assistance Team, took the woman aboard in Hilo and safely transferred her to awaiting emergency medical personnel at Barbers Point. They then further transferred her to Queens Medical Center for treatment.
At 9:19 p.m. Friday personnel at the JRCC received a request from the Hawaii State Department of Health Hawaii County to transport the woman to a higher level of medical care. She is reportedly suffering from a severe infection.
Following necessary preparation and the arrival of the medical team, the Hercules crew departed the air station around 4 a.m. Saturday. They arrived in Hilo, embarked the woman, and returned to Oahu arriving at about 6:30 a.m.
Air Station Barbers Point maintains four Hercules aircraft for missions, enhancing the readiness of the Coast Guard 14th District with long-range patrol and logistical support capabilities, as well as quick and versatile search and rescue response. On average they are called on to conduct long-range medical transports throughout the Pacific several times a year. In November 2017, A 39-year-old citizen of Ecuador arrived in stable condition to Queen's Medical Center after being medically evacuated 1,353 miles from Kiribati to Hawaii in this manner by the Coast Guard.
The Hawaii Healthcare Emergency Management’s Disaster Medical Team (Kalawao Rescue) is a deployable, all-hazards disaster medical response and recovery team which is part of the medical surge capability within the HPP or Hospital Preparedness Program. All team members are volunteer professionals.