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NEWS | June 29, 2023

Tennessee National Guard Rescues Injured Hiker

By Tennessee Department of Military

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – A Tennessee Army National Guard medical flight crew performed an emergency air evacuation for a hiker in medical distress at Cumberland Gap National Historic Park June 28.

Shortly after 10 a.m., the Tennessee National Guard and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency were notified that a 22-year-old hiker suffering head trauma needed assistance, immediate medical aid, and evacuation to a nearby hospital. The hiker was in a remote area of the park along a hiking trail just north of the Tennessee border in Virginia.

TEMA approved the mission and Tennessee National Guardsmen assigned to the 1-230th Assault Helicopter Battalion in Knoxville assembled a flight crew, prepared a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter and launched to rescue the hiker. 

The aircrew departed shortly after 11:10 a.m. from Joint Base McGhee-Tyson and arrived at the rescue site 25 minutes later. The crew quickly located the victim and the park rangers who were rendering first aid.

Around 11:45 a.m., the aircraft crew chief lowered two flight paramedics to the ground by hoist to do a quick medical assessment and prepare the hiker for transport. The hiker was put on a specially designed rescue stretcher and hoisted with a flight paramedic into the hovering helicopter, where additional aid was provided. After the second flight paramedic was hoisted into the helicopter, they flew to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville.

At approximately 12:25 p.m., the aircraft landed at the hospital and the patient was rushed to the emergency room. 

The Tennessee Army National Guard flight crew included two pilots, Capt. Brandon Rodriguez and Capt. Hulon Holmes, crew chief Sgt. Nicholas Kannard, and two flight paramedics, Sgt. 1st Class Giovanni DeZuani and Sgt. 1st Class Tracy Banta.

 

 

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