NEWS | Oct. 8, 2020

Alaska Air National Guard Airmen rescue injured hunter

By David Bedard 176th Wing

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska – Airmen with the Alaska Air National Guard's 176th Wing rescued a hunter injured in an ATV accident Oct. 7 near Metal Creek northeast of Anchorage.

Alaska Air National Guard Maj. Kevin Kelly, Alaska Rescue Coordination Center deputy director, said the hunting party used a satellite communication device to contact the Alaska State Troopers, who then contacted the AKRCC.

The AKRCC notified the 176th Wing, which dispatched a 210th Rescue Squadron HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter carrying 212th Rescue Squadron pararescuemen (PJs).

Airmen of 210th RQS operate the HH-60 combat search-and-rescue helicopter. PJs of the 212th RQS are highly trained CSAR specialists with extensive medical training.

Due to challenging terrain, the HH-60 crew deployed the rescue hoist, lowering the PJs to the injured hunter. The PJs medically assessed the hunter before packaging him and hoisting him to the helicopter.

The patient was transported to Alaska Regional Hospital in Anchorage, where he was released to medical personnel.

Kelly commended the hunting party for carrying a satellite communication device and said hunters and hikers should always be prepared for bad weather and challenging terrain.

"Even if you're out on ATVs or snowmachines, it always pays to be ready for weather or injury," he said. "The fact this party was prepared for just this situation made for a good outcome and helped our Airmen do their job."

For this rescue, 210th RQS, 212th RQS and AKRCC were awarded one save.