An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : News : Article View
NEWS | Nov. 2, 2017

Kentucky National Guard medevac provides lifesaving service to Virgin Islands

By Maj. Stephen Martin Kentucky National Guard

FRANKFORT, Ky. - The Kentucky Guard Medevac responded to the call for support to the Virgin Islands the day after Labor Day for hurricane relief operations. Det. 1, Charlie Co of 2nd Battalion, 238th Medevac out of Frankfort, Kentucky, flew out of the 123rd Air Wing Base in Louisville and began search and rescue and lifesaving operations immediately across the various Islands down south.

"We were called to an urgent transfer from the island of St. Croix to St. John where a patient had suffered a serious laceration on their arm," said 1st Lt John Kerr, platoon leader for the Medevac unit. "The call came to us from the clinic on the small island and it was late at night with very little moonlight available. Power was still out throughout the island but we knew the location quite well.

"Once we landed at the clinic, both flight medics went inside to meet with the doctors on site and to get the PCR (patient care report). Once they had the information the flight medics loaded the patient and we departed for San Juan International Airport in Puerto Rico where they had set up a triage (sorting by severity of injury) to help patients. The flight took about 35 minutes and the flight medics were able to stabilize the patient so we could arrive to the triage. We landed in San Juan and we were successful in saving the patient and (getting him) the medical care he needed."

The unit flew 88.6 hours in support of passenger and patient movement as well as evacuating themselves to Puerto Rico when Hurricane Maria ripped through just a couple of weeks later. They then returned to the Virgin Islands for follow-on support.

All-in-all, the aviation Soldiers were able to move 17 patients over the month-long deployment and facilitated three rescue-hoist missions to critical care facilities.

"I believe we have been training up to a moment like this for the past few years," said Kerr. "Our medics are extremely well trained and specialized in all scenarios. We had the best equipment and support from not only the Virgin Islands but Kentucky as well. It felt great to be able to fully utilize our training to assist those who need it most. I am very proud to be a Kentucky Guardsman and even more to be in such an amazing unit."



Related Articles
Citizen-Soldiers of the Puerto Rico Army National Guard distributed supplies, food and water to isolated towns in Utuado, Puerto Rico, after Hurricane Maria devastated the island in September 2017.
Puerto Rico National Guard ready for 2020 hurricane season
By Puerto Rico National Guard | June 2, 2020
FORT BUCHANAN, Puerto Rico – The Puerto Rico National Guard is prepared for the start of the 2020 hurricane season and is urging residents to take precautions. “The Puerto Rico National Guard, and its more than 8,000...

Staff Sgt. John Cox, an air transportation specialist assigned to the 109th Airlift Wing, poses with his dog Maria, on Stratton Air National Guard Base, Scotia, N.Y., Dec. 15, 2017. Cox adopted Maria while deployed to Puerto Rico for Hurricane Maria.
N.Y. Airman returns from hurricane support with furry friend
By Staff Sgt. Stephanie J. Lambert | Dec. 19, 2017
STRATTON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.Y. - When Staff Sgt. John Cox, an air transportation specialist assigned to the 109th Airlift Wing, deployed to Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, Oct. 9, he assumed he would be helping the local...

Col. Raymond Figueroa, commander of the 156th Airlift Wing, speaks with the residents in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico during a community outreach program, Dec. 9, 2017. The two part effort saw wing members first on a door-to-door campaign followed by a centralized distribution of needs for victims of Hurricane Maria.
Airmen aid Puerto Rico town first struck by Hurricane Maria
By Master Sgt. Chris Botzum | Dec. 13, 2017
MUñIZ AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Puerto Rico - On Dec. 9, a pre-dawn assembly of Airmen assigned to the 156th Airlift Wing conducted relief missions in Puerto Rico. Unusual? No, the Puerto Rico Air National Guard's recovery...