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West Virginia Army National Guard rescues stranded motorist

By Capt. Holli Nelson | West Virginia National Guard | Feb. 21, 2019

ELLENBORO, W. Va. – Aircrew members of the West Virginia Army National Guard's Company C, 2-104th General Support Aviation Battalion (MEDEVAC), located in Williamstown, West Virginia, provided a successful aerial rescue mission via U.S. Army HH-60 Black Hawk for a civilian trapped in his vehicle due to flood waters at approximately 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.

At approximately 2 p.m., Ritchie County contacted the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (WVDHSEM) Watch Center with a request to rescue a stranded motorist who was trapped on a secondary road near Ellenboro due to flood waters.

Waters were not expected to recede within the next 24-48 hours, and local responders could not reach the stranded motorist without air support. Within an hour of the request, the West Virginia National Guard was able to respond, successfully rescuing the individual from the mud and high water along Bonds Creek and transported him safely to Ritchie County High School in Ellenboro, where emergency medical services personnel evaluated him.

The aircrew for the mission consisted of Chief Warrant Officer 2 Brandon Koon (command pilot); 1st Lt. Aaron Wood (pilot); Staff Sgt. Jesse Rickwartz (crew chief) and Sgt. Joshua Allen (medic).

The state mission of the 2-104th GASB is to provide aeromedical evacuation and search and rescue capability to the governor and the citizens of West Virginia in times of emergency.