A B.C.-based air ambulance service offering faster and more reliable response times to remote and industrial settings has officially opened its fourth base in Campbell River.
Technical Evacuation Advanced Aero Medical, or TEAAM, is a non-profit comprised of medical professionals, including advanced care and primary care paramedics, nurses, and technical rescue specialists.
The establishment of the Campbell River base follows collaborations between the Truck Loggers Association, the City of Campbell River and the Strathcona Regional District, according to TEAAM President Miles Randell.
“They realized there was a massive need,” Randell said, also noting his team is “quite excited” about the flood of support from northern Vancouver Island communities since the recent opening.
“We haven’t had this degree of excitement and support when we’ve opened up bases before … There’s a ton of interest and support and we’re already receiving mission calls, so things are going really, really well there,” Randell told CHEK News.
While TEAAM will still dispatch helicopter rescue work on the North Island from its home base in Squamish, crews are actively fundraising to provide a helicopter rescue direct from Campbell River.
According to Randell, the non-profit launched about five years ago and also has bases in Prince George and Fort St. John.
“It started after the loss of a friend,” he recalled.
“Back in 2014, we lost a friend in the mountains and we realized there was a huge gap in pre-hospital care in B.C. We decided to try and fill that gap, and after going to the government and proposing it, we decided to build our own not-for-profit program and started in 2017.”
Randell says the goal has always been to expand across B.C. and reach areas outside the scope of ambulances. That said, he’s applauding his team’s ongoing commitment to making a difference.
“Our staff are paid-on call, so they’ll get paid when they’re on a mission, but if there’s no mission, there’s no pay at all,” he added. “So it’s a lot of dedication, without a doubt, especially with the qualifications these people have.”
More details about TEAAM, including a link to donate, can be found here.