What Happens When...
You're at a remote cabin or worksite and there is a medical emergency.
You’ve planned a trip to your favorite remote hunting or fishing site, or maybe you’ve prepared for a weekend of backcountry skiing, snow machining or 4-wheeling. The gear is packed, your phone is charged, and you’re ready to go – but have you taken a moment to think about what you will do if something goes wrong? What will happen if you or a member of your party suffers an injury or serious illness?
Every day, LifeMed Alaska evacuates seriously ill and injured persons from Alaska’s remote wilderness to advanced medical care. We work closely with local emergency responders, Coast Guard, National Guard and Air Force helicopters and other medevac providers to coordinate the best response to any medical incident.
When & How to Call
LifeMed Alaska's rapid transport can be beneficial for persons experiencing painful or life-threatening conditions like chest pain, difficulty breathing, unconsciousness, hypothermia, uncontrolled bleeding or fractures.
In any emergency, first dial 9-1-1 – even if your location cannot be accessed by road. Local dispatchers are best able to determine your exact location and how you can best be reached. If an air ambulance is a beneficial option, they will activate LifeMed Alaska.
LifeMed Alaska can also be contacted directly at 1-800-478-LIFE (5433). Our dispatcher's will help determine your location and send the closest resources.
Selecting and Marking a Landing Zone
Choose a firm, level area (slope less than 5 degrees) 75’x75’ (100’x100’ at night) clear of large obstacles on the ground (rocks, fallen trees, stumps) and overhead (tall trees, power lines). Loose snow or dirt may create a white or brownout situation, and the helicopter may sink in soft snow or muskeg. Debris will become airborne in the helicopter’s rotor wash, so secure any loose items (tents, tarps, canoes) and be ready to protect your eyes and the victim as the helicopter lands.
Describe your exact position to our dispatcher using GPS coordinates, a milepost or road intersection, a map grid, or in relation to a significant landmark. A more exact position allows our helicopters to find you quickly. If you have a telephone, keep the line clear so that our dispatcher may call you back in case the helicopter has trouble locating you.
Make yourself visible from the air with a signal mirror, smoke canister, or smoky fire during the day, or flashlights, chemsticks, or flares at night. Specially designed laser signalers work well day or night. DO NOT direct ordinary laser pointers or bright lights directly at the helicopter. When possible, indicate wind direction by positioning yourself at the downwind side of the landing zone.
Once the helicopter has landed, let the crew come to you. DO NOT approach a running helicopter, and always remain well clear of the tail area and rotor disc.
Prepare to Survive
Weather sometimes delays an immediate rescue, so prepare yourself to survive in the Alaska wilderness. Always carry a basic survival kit, and educate yourself— learn first aid techniques, practice building improvised shelters, and know how to get warm and dry – BEFORE an emergency strikes.