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NEWS | May 29, 2024

New Hampshire Guard Medevacs Injured Hiker to Safety

By National Guard Bureau

THOMPSON and MESERVE’S PURCHASE, N.H. - The New Hampshire National Guard rescued a hiker with a broken leg in the White Mountain National Forest and evacuated him to a hospital over Memorial Day weekend.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department said in a news release that it was notified of an emergency SOS signal from the Edmands Col Cutoff Trail at about 11:30 a.m. May 26.

A brief 911 call came in shortly after, with only a report of a serious injury.

The location of the SOS signal and dropped 911 call was over 4.5 miles from the nearest road and on the exposed ridgeline between Mount Jefferson and Mount Adams, according to the news release. 

The Fish and Game Commission requested helicopter support from the New Hampshire National Guard, which scrambled a crew and UH-60 Black Hawk to the scene.

Two Randolph Mountain Club caretakers in the area volunteered to hike up to the ridge to locate the source of the emergency. Conservation officers also started hiking up with a litter and other gear.

The National Guard Black Hawk left from Concord just after 3 p.m. A short time later, the two caretakers came upon a 27-year-old hiker with a severely broken leg on the exposed ridgeline. The experienced hiker had crawled over 3/10ths of a mile to the junction of Edmands Col/Gulfside Trail/Randolph Path.

At approximately 3:40 p.m., the Guard arrived and landed the helicopter. A medic and crew chief put the hiker in a litter, loaded him onto the helicopter and transported him to Androscoggin Valley Hospital in Berlin. 

“The National Guard helicopter saved dozens of potential rescuers from having to hike several miles and carry the injured hiker through difficult and dangerous terrain,” the Fish and Game Commission news release reported.

“This evolution would have likely lasted well into the early morning hours. Requesting assistance from the National Guard is not taken for granted and is only utilized in the most urgent or potentially life-threatening situations.”



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