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Hiker suffering heart attack safely rescued from BCMC Trail

A joint effort from North Shore Emergency crews led to a safe extraction
BCMC Rescue

A hiker that suffered a heart attack on Grouse Mountain’s BCMC Trail is safe, thanks to joint efforts from North Shore emergency responders.

North Shore Rescue team leader Mike Danks said they received the call Monday afternoon to assist district firefighters that were already on scene.

“We were contacted by the District of North Vancouver Fire Department at 1:30 p.m. for a potential extraction of a heart attack patient they had on the BCMC Trail at marker 72,” said Danks.

“Our first thing was to get Talon helicopters staged at our Cap Gate fire station. We had our advanced medical providers respond there, and a crew of four with a doctor was sent in to meet up with fire, who had done a great job of packaging the patient and having him ready for extraction.”

Danks said the man appeared to be in his mid 50s, and that response crews became worried after finding out the details of his his medical history.

“It seemed like there was a history of cardiac issues, which they became very concerned about,” explained Danks. “We later determined once we put him on a monitor that he was actively having a heart attack.”

After the patient was lifted safely from the trail to Cleveland Dam, he was taken to St. Paul’s hospital in stable condition. Danks stressed that inter-agency communication is a key factor that led to the smooth extraction.    

“I can say with confidence, that the fact that we work so well together really gave the patient a much better chance at survival,” said Danks. “Quick response time, quick extraction and transfer over to St. Paul’s -- that golden hour is so important, and I think we kept well within that. I think the patient care was optimal.”

With the recent opening of the Grouse Grind last week, Danks said hikers eager to get their blood pumping should consult a physician before beginning an ascent.  

“I think you need to gradually work up to these hikes. Now that the Grind is open, a lot of people think they can just go out and do it off the couch. It’s a progression, and you need to know your body and keep within your physical limits. Hydration is a huge thing, as well as making sure you have some food with you.”