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NEWS | July 31, 2023

Tennessee National Guard Rescues Injured Hiker

By Lt. Col. Darrin Haas, Tennessee National Guard Public Affairs Office

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - A Tennessee Army National Guard medical flight crew evacuated an injured hiker from Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Shortly before 7 p.m. July 27, the Tennessee National Guard and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency were notified that a hiker suffering head trauma needed immediate medical aid and evacuation to a nearby hospital. The hiker was in a remote area of the park near Inspiration Point along Alum Cave Trail.

Within 40 minutes, 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.

The Tennessee Army National Guard flight crew included two pilots, Chief Warrant Officer 3’s Andrew Redley and Daniel Backus; two crew chiefs, Staff Sgt. Allen Belcher and Sgt. Christopher Farrar; and flight paramedic Sgt. 1st Class Giovanni DeZuani.

The aircrew departed shortly before 7:40 p.m. from Joint Base McGhee-Tyson and arrived at the rescue site 11 minutes later. The crew quickly located the victim and park rangers from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, who were rendering first aid.

Shortly after 8 p.m., aircraft crew chief Farrar lowered DeZuani to the ground by hoist to do a quick medical assessment and prepare the hiker for transport. After a few minutes, the hiker was put on a stretcher and hoisted into the hovering helicopter. Banta was then hoisted into the aircraft and continued giving aid to the patient while they flew to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville.

The aircraft landed at UT Medical Center about 9 p.m. and medical personnel rushed the patient into the emergency room.


 

 

 

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