“I freaked out about her injuries. She just kept shaking,” said Karla Carcamo, 25, of the harrowing helicopter ride she and her little sister Priscilla Aviles, 17, took to Fresno.
They were among 200 campers rescued by helicopter from Mammoth Pool Reservoir as the Creek Fire surrounded them. Her Southern California family worried about what kind of care Priscilla and her brother Christian Aviles – who was also burned while camping – would get in Fresno. They quickly learned Fresno has more to offer than they thought.
“Once my mom came to the hospital she said ‘No we can’t move her. They’re amazing here,’” Carcamo said. “This is the best care she could’ve possibly received,” Carcamo agreed.
Community Regional Medical Center’s burn and trauma teams were standing ready when campers with the worst injuries came in from the dramatic nighttime, wildfire rescue on Sept. 6. Lucky for Priscilla, Community Regional is staffed round the clock with top medical experts.
When the Table Mountain Rancheria Trauma Center opened in 2007, its football-field sized emergency department was the largest in California and it quickly became one of the busiest. It now sees an average of 323 patients a day – 12 of them for life-saving trauma care.
Community continues to provide the only Level 1 trauma care and comprehensive burn center between Los Angeles and Sacramento; only one other hospital statewide admitted more critically ill or injured emergency patients last year. Those within an hour of a trauma center have a 25% greater chance of survival from critical injuries.
The Leon S. Peters Burn Center at Community Regional sees patients through their most critical times and also throughout their outpatient healing, offering psychological support as well.