Patient declines helicopter ride after rescue in BWCA

Residents in the Fernberg Road area may have heard a low-flying helicopter in the wee hours of Wednesday night. It turns out the medical helicopter left without a patient.
The St. Louis and Lake County Rescue Squads responded to a call Wednesday night of an unresponsive 42 year-old male, on whom, CPR had been started by others on the scene. The party was near Basswood Falls on Basswood Lake
The St. Louis County Rescue Squad was able to reach LaTourell’s, the Prairie Portage operator, who agreed to open the portage.
Along with a Lake County sheriff’s deputy and a paramedic from the Morse-Fall Lake fire department and first responders, the rescuers went in the dark from Moose Lake around 11:45 p.m.
According to a report, upon arrival at Basswood Falls area the party was located at a campsite south of the Falls on the northwest shore. While enroute rescuers were given updated information that said the party was now awake, but still having trouble breathing.
Arrangements were made to evacuate the patient and Ely Ambulance was requested to LaTourell’s. Due to the cardiac involvement, an air ambulance was requested.
A landing zone was set up on the Fernburg Road just west of Canadian Border Road. Ely Ambulance transported the victim to North Air Care. North Air Care medics checked the party over in the ambulance.
The party had continued to improve since the onset of his trouble. In conversation with the medics he choose to decline Air Care service to Duluth. He elected to have Ely Ambulance transport him to Ely Hospital.
Once that decision was made, Air Care departed the Fernburg and ground units were then able to begin the trek back to Ely.