Emergency medical unit considered for Tybee Island - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Emergency medical unit considered for Tybee Island

By Brian Entin - email
TYBEE ISLAND, GA (WTOC) - There is only one way in and one way out of Tybee Island.

Traffic on Highway 80 can be the difference between life and death when every second counts during a traumatic accident.

Neurologist Jerry Williams, who lives on Tybee, came up with the idea for an emergency medical stabilization unit. It's a place with state of the art equipment to stabilize someone in serious condition.

"We need to make sure we maintain a national standard of care out here and when a patient can't be timely transported off the island we can take care of them here," Williams said.

On Memorial Day weekend, Dawn Piper was boating with her family when she was thrown from the boat. Police say she struck her boat's propeller.

Medical personnel determined traffic on Highway 80 was too bad to take her to Savannah. Instead, they took her to the Tybee Lighthouse to meet Lifestar. But it was too late. Piper didn't make it.

"I don't know the details of Ms. Piper's injuries or if a unit like this would make a difference for her. But the tragedy certainly did get me thinking," Williams said.

Tybee Mayor Jason Buelterman says the council is looking for ways to widen Highway 80, but they need an alternative plan until then. "This emergency stabilization unit is something we can do as an interim strategy to ensure folks who live out here and visit out here are as safe as they can be," Buelterman said.

He says the council has put together a committee to look into the issue.

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