MEMBER NEWS: Medical Emergency Response in the Most Volatile Onshore Environments

May 20, 2021
MEMBER NEWS: Medical Emergency Response in the Most Volatile Onshore Environments

Delivering projects in onshore and offshore wind often comes unanimously with operating in volatile, hard-to-reach environments.

For GE Renewable Energy, the Bjorkvattnet onshore wind project situated 18 miles Southwest of Ramsele in central Sweden is no different.

Emergency Response in Remote Environments

Remote Medical International (RMI), led by Senior Project Manager Ashley Saunders, are supporting GE in the supply of 33 wind turbines that will be responsible for powering the equivalent of 175,000 Swedish homes.

The project involves the deployment of a team of highly qualified Global Wind Organisation (GWO) trained paramedics, responsible for first response and paramedic care of all personnel stationed at the site.

Volatile Weather and Working Under Pressure

The GE Bjorkvattnet project, due to its location, comes with a number of unique challenges that make ensuring a safe working environment onsite difficult.

RMI medics stationed onsite have to deal with sub-zero temperatures and weather conditions that include extreme wind and snowfall. When there is the possibility of landslides, snow drifts, blockages and falling debris, it is paramount to have a team of medical emergency response professionals who are experienced in providing the best quality medical care under pressure.

Reducing the Impact of Distance on Medical Response Time

In locations like Bjorkvattnet, it is incredibly important to have a team of paramedics who can provide rapid, high quality care whilst awaiting the support of the national emergency services.

RMI have deployed an efficient system, working with GE personnel out of a fully serviced clinic in Ramsele that doubles as a walk-in clinic for local residents. The paramedics that man the worksite operate on two-week rotations and often station themselves as a preventative measure at locations where incident occurrence could be higher. When they’re not on the clock accompanying staff travelling out to site from their Ramsele base, they are continually utilising their skills by working with the local ambulance service.

In the case of GE, no incidents have occurred and are unlikely due to the safety measures and protocols in place by working with RMI.

The Unique Challenges of Turbine Safety

Speaking generally about windfarm construction, Ashley Saunders, Senior Project Manager at RMI explains that “the columns in a generic wind turbine is incredibly cramped and the nacelles haven’t necessarily been designed with emergency access capabilities in mind”.

As a result, providing critical emergency care during the Golden Hour (the crucial period of time when prompt emergency care can result in surviving or not) is made all the more difficult.

But having a team that can reach the injured party quickly and effectively, regardless of conditions is what can help personnel operate in relative safety.

COVID-19 and its Implications

For any project, onshore or offshore, having an effective COVID-19 management plan in place is paramount in creating a safe working environment.

For GE, RMI have provided a suite of services from instigating rapid antigen testing onsite, to making sure all personnel and locations are provisioned with the correct PPE.

As with all renewable energy projects operating through the global pandemic, managing staff interactions has a direct impact on mitigating the effects of the virus potentially spreading. Working with GE, RMI have developed an effective series of protocols that personnel follow when arriving at Bjorkvattnet in order to protect those currently stationed onsite.

Despite the ongoing challenges of organising onsite, rapid testing during a period of time when demand is incredibly high, RMI have successfully worked with GE to ensure such tests are readily available for all personnel involved.

Medical Emergency Response Services

Although RMI’s partnership with GE on the Bjorkvattnet project has been successful in terms of avoiding medical incidences, not all onshore wind projects benefit from such security.

As a result, it is important to plan for what could go wrong by initiating a comprehensive medical emergency response plan with a team of highly qualified industry professionals.

To arrange your medical emergency response plan consultation with RMI, click here.

Get in touch

AREG is the original energy transition organisation, working on behalf of members to empower the energy supply chain and champion its expertise. Please get in touch if you have any questions or would like to find out more about membership.

AREG has played an important role in the growth of Scotland’s renewable energy sector, engaging the supply chain and developing the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. However, we are only at the very beginning of the transition that AREG was established to both lead and support so there are still opportunities for companies to get into the constantly evolving renewables supply chain. We look forward to continuing our work together as renewables builds on its place as Scotland’s main source of power, and as we seek to deliver real change in the crucial areas of heat and transport.

Scottish Renewables

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce has worked closely with AREG since its formation. The recent progress in the developments of offshore wind projects by Equinor and Vattenfall are as a result of the work of the group over many years. The north-east is known as the oil and gas capital of Europe. At the Chamber, we believe the region must evolve its position to being recognised as the energy capital. Whilst hydrocarbons will continue to be essential in driving our economy for years to come, the generation of renewable resources will play an increasingly important role in providing cost-effective power, innovative development and economic growth.

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce

The enthusiasm and dedication of the early group that would become AREG was fundamental in us choosing to launch All-Energy in Aberdeen. The first tiny show was held in 2001, and AREG’s Chairman at the time, Jeremy Cresswell, played such an active role that I often describe him in terms such as All-Energy’s ‘midwife’. All-Energy is now the UK’s largest renewable and low carbon energy exhibition and conference in terms of number of attendees, space booked, and number of exhibiting companies. As AREG became firmly established, their presence and support for the event grew spectacularly over the years. We thank them most sincerely for their invaluable input.


Vattenfall has forged a strong working relationship with AREG through the development of the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. AREG has worked tirelessly on behalf of the North East and it can take enormous credit for the growth of sustainable energy in the region and the path it has cleared for the region to capture further investment.


Aberdeen City and Shire is emerging as a key location for renewables by successfully transferring its world-class oil and gas expertise into the sector and AREG has done much to advance this through a broad range of initiatives. It has acted as a catalyst in driving further investment in the local economy by engaging with companies, Government, public bodies and existing projects and we have been pleased to support their efforts. Scottish Enterprise will continue to engage with AREG as we increase Scotland’s use of renewable energy.

Scottish Enterprise