Report: Medical choppers not close to school shooting

By The Associated Press | Posted - May 1, 2015 at 4:51 p.m.



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EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — The Daily Herald reports (http://is.gd/cZ0UZ7 ) that officials with UW Medicine are acknowledging no life flight helicopters were near a deadly 2014 school shooting in Marysville, a statement which refutes earlier claims helicopters were hovering over the scene but were waved off by paramedics.

A student at Marysville-Pilchuck high school opened fire in the cafeteria on Oct. 24, 2014, killing four friends before taking his own life.

Previously, Harborview Medical Center in Seattle and Airlift Northwest have said helicopters were over the area when the decision was made to transport victims, but were turned away by crews on the ground. Victims were taken by ambulance to a hospital in Everett, rather than to the Seattle facility, the top trauma hospital in the region.

The Herald reports that flight logs show the two helicopters dispatched to the shooting scene were both more than 25 miles away and that taking the students to Providence Regional Medical Center was the faster option.

In a statement, UW Medicine said the flight log information cited by The Herald was correct and added in a statement it is continuing discussions to make sure Snohomish County has access to the best trauma care.

"Airlift Northwest, Providence Everett, the Snohomish County EMS and other early responders held a debriefing with the state Department of Health to identify areas for improved communication and collaboration during crisis situations of this magnitude," the statement said.

Harborview and Airlift Northwest are operated by UW Medicine.

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