|Riverhead Ambulance Crew Meets Patient Who's Life They Impacted|
|By Assistant Chief Michael Caron|
|September 17, 2019|
For prehospital care providers, meeting a patient whose life they were able to save, is an event few and far in between get to experience. However, on Monday August 12th, 2019 a group of providers from Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps had the honor of meeting Nick Coutts, a young man whose life was impacted by the care in which they provided.
Friday. June 7th, 2019 was a night like any other. It was 11:20pm and the dedicated members of Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps, were nearing the end of another long and busy day, when they were dispatched to Wading River Manor Rd and Schultz Rd for a motor vehicle accident involving a motorcycle.
Chief Bill Wilkinson and Assistant Chief Mike Caron were notified that the Suffolk County Police Helicopter was on standby, a resource reserved for only the most serious of situations. Riverhead Police then notified the responding chiefs that the patient appeared to be in critical condition at which time the helicopter was requested to respond to the scene.
Upon arrival, Chiefs Wilkinson and Caron had found a motorcyclist laying in the roadway, reports stated that he had struck the side of a work van, his condition, critical. That motorcyclist was 25-year-old Nick Coutts of Southold. EMTs began work immediately to stabilize Nick and prepare him for the helicopter transport. The members Riverhead Ambulance with the assistance of Northwell Health Paramedic Mike Spingola and members of the Manorville Fire Department, Nick was loaded into the ambulance where EMTs worked tirelessly to manage his injuries.
The Manorville Fire Department established a landing zone on the Grumman property and awaited the arrival of the helicopter. As the members of Riverhead Ambulance transported Nick to the awaiting helicopter, it became clear that time was becoming a critical factor. The ambulance pulled up to the landing zone to find that the helicopter was awaiting their arrival. The flight paramedic boarded the ambulance to evaluate Nick’s condition and the severity of his injuries. Nick’s airway was secured with an endotracheal tube and he was loaded aboard the helicopter and transported to Stony Brook University Medical Center.
Since the accident Nick spent a great deal of time in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at Stony Brook and has undergone multiple operations. As Nick’s condition improved, he began to breath on his own and had the endotracheal tube removed. Nick regained consciousness and began to talk again. After an extensive stay at Stony Brook, Nick was transferred to Saint Charles Hospital for further orthopedic rehabilitation where he regained the ability to walk. Nick has since been discharged from Saint Charles and is continuing his recovery at home. Nick’s condition improves each day, he is still using crutches to get around but hopes to no longer need them in the near future.
If it had not been for the quick and decisive actions of all of those involved and quality motorcycle helmet, Nick’s outcome may have been gravely different.