Combined effort to help save girls who fell through ice

Tuesday, Apr 17, 2012 03:35 pm | VICTORIA PATERSON

A young girl has reportedly died after falling through ice on a rural property southwest of Red Deer.

The incident occurred on April 6 in Red Deer County. The sisters, 3 and 5, were discovered by family members.

According to Doris Stapleton, a media relations specialist with the RCMP, the girls had “fallen through ice in a small body of water on the property.”

The police were called at about 10:20 a.m. on Good Friday.

Sgt. Patricia Neely said the RCMP was unsure of what the girls were doing at the time they fell through the ice, adding all she could say was they responded to the call.

The RCMP put out a second press release which stated they will not provide an update on the condition of the girls and any further updates would come from their family.

As of press time Friday, the family had not provided any public statement.

Media reports in the days ensuing the incident stated one of the girls had died.

Neely said the children were taken to the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre and then were airlifted to Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton.

Cam Heke, a spokesperson for STARS Air Ambulance, said two helicopters were dispatched to get the girls from Red Deer.

“We responded from both our Calgary base as well as our Edmonton base,” Heke said.

Before going to Red Deer, each helicopter went to its local children’s hospital to collect pediatric specialist teams.

“The specialty care that can be provided … was required,” Heke said. He said by bringing the teams to Red Deer, care could begin right away for the girls.

Both teams consisted of respiratory therapists and pediatric nurses. In Edmonton a pediatric physician was added while an emergency physician came from Calgary. A flight paramedic was with the Calgary team and a flight nurse attended with the Edmonton team.

Heke said STARS was requested at 11:17 a.m. and responded at 11:21, with the first helicopter arriving in Red Deer at 12:29 p.m.

“It was very serious at the time,” Heke said of the girls’ condition at the time of their flights.

Alberta Health Services spokesperson Aric Johnson directed inquiries to the RCMP and STARS.


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