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NEWS | Oct. 27, 2020

Alaska Air National Guard Airmen rescue injured hiker

By David Bedard 176th Wing

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska – Members of the Alaska Air National Guard's 176th Wing rescued an injured hiker Oct. 25 at Byron Glacier, southeast of Anchorage near Portage.

Alaska Air National Guard Capt. Daniel Warren, Alaska Rescue Coordination Center senior controller, said officials from the Anchorage Fire Department, Girdwood Volunteer Fire Department and Alaska State Troopers contacted the AKRCC to request hoist extraction of the victim.

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

Due to inclement weather, the Pave Hawk landed at the trailhead and disembarked two PJs, who infiltrated several miles to the hiker. At the point of injury, working with personnel from Girdwood and Anchorage fire departments, PJs further assessed, stabilized and packaged the hiker onto a litter and carried her back to the HH-60.

The patient was transported to Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage and released to medical authorities.

Warren highlighted the importance and effectiveness of interagency cooperation for rescues as the Alaska winter sets in.

"This mission was another reminder of how quickly things can turn for those enjoying our state," he said. "The terrain, weather and circumstance are always serious here. Thankfully, we mitigate this risk with sustained relationships built on symbiosis with and early notification from our in-state partners to effectively respond and assist those in need."

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