By Clint Parker
Reems Creek – A Friday, May 10, Brigman Road construction accident closed Reems Creek Road so that EMS workers could use the highway as a landing zone for MAMA. At about 2:37 pm a call went out to Reems Creek Fire Department from the Buncombe County 911 dispatch to respond to a fall from approximately 20 feet from a scaffold at a construction site and reported: “…broken legs.”
A minute after the call came in a first responder was on the scene. The information broadcast over the emergency frequency describes the victim as a 35-year-old male who was conscious.
Soon after arrival, responders determined that injuries sustained by the victim were more serious and asked if the helicopter was available. “If so, there’s a field right in front of this house that’s being built,” said the first responder.
Right after the request, Weaverville Fire Department asked if assistance was needed and Reems Creek accepted the offer of mutual aid as they had several other calls going on at the same time. Dispatch then confirmed that the helicopter was available and asked, “Do you want her to launch?” The reply came back “10-4.” Dispatch confirmed the field’s location and stated, “10-4, I’m going ahead and putting her in the air.”
Reems Creek along with Weaverville responders used fire vehicles to close Reems Creek Road after it was determined the field chosen as a landing zone would not be suitable to land MAMA due to the height of the hay, which had received plenty of water over the past few weeks of warm weather.
Reems Creek used its ambulance to move the victim from Brigman Road to Reems Creek Road near where MAMA landed which was about an eighth to a quarter of a mile away. Traffic was stopped in both directions for more than 15 minutes while the patient was transported in the ambulance to Reems Creek and then on a gurney to the awaiting helicopter.
Soon after the victim was aboard, MAMA lifted off and headed south over the adjacent grassy field toward Mission Hospital. According to Reems Creek Fire Chief Jeff Justice, the fall was closer to 30 or 35 feet and occurred when the scaffold, which was located on the side of the home, overturned. Unofficial reports are that the man is recovering from his injuries.
Editor’s note: Due to HIPAA laws The Tribune no longer attempts to ascertain the condition of the victim.