NEWS | May 12, 2020

Alaska Air National Guard rescues 2 people

By Spc. Grace Nechanicky Alaska National Guard

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska – The Alaska Air National Guard's 176th Wing rescued two people on back-to-back missions May 10.

Alaska State Troopers requested assistance to rescue an injured hiker on Winner Creek Trail in Girdwood after she contacted the Girdwood Fire Department for help, according to Alaska Air National Guard Master Sgt. Andre Marron, a search-and-rescue controller with the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center.

An HH-60G Pave Hawk of the 210th Rescue Squadron and two pararescuemen of the 212th Rescue Squadron departed Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in response to the request. The hiker, who had broken her ankle, was hoisted into the HH-60G Pave Hawk and transported to Alaska Regional Hospital, then taken to the Alaska Native Medical Center via ambulance and treated for her injuries.

The second request for assistance occurred when a distressed hiker was stranded on a rock in a closed avalanche area on Alyeska Mountain in Girdwood. The hiker contacted the AST, which alerted the Girdwood Fire Department. After assessing the situation, the GFD requested support from the AK RCC, which asked for the HH60G from the previous mission.

After locating the hiker, the pararescuemen hoisted him into the aircraft and he was transported to Girdwood Airport where he was released to his parents and the Whittier Police.

“Our partners at the Girdwood Fire Department did an outstanding job treating the first patient’s injuries and packaging her for hoist operations,” said Senior Master Sgt. Evan Budd, AK RCC superintendent. “Their solid and quick assessment on the second mission ensured the young hiker did not spend an extended period of time in distress. Additionally, we’d like to echo their sentiments and remind everyone to be prepared for the elements and always bring appropriate outdoor gear.”

The AK RCC, 210th and 212th Rescue Squadrons were awarded two saves.