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NEWS | Oct. 18, 2021

Alaska Air National Guard rescues resident near Friday Creek

By Maj. Chelsea Aspelund, 176th Wing Public Affairs

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - Alaska Air National Guardsmen of the 176th Wing rescued an Alaska resident experiencing medical distress Oct. 16 at his cabin near Friday Creek.

The Alaska State Trooper Search and Rescue coordinator requested assistance from the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center after civilian air ambulance declined service.

“Our civilian air ambulance counterparts were unable to accept the mission due to poor weather and low ceilings,” said Capt. Dan Dickman, AK RCC search and rescue controller. “Fortunately, the Alaska Air National Guard HH-60G Pave Hawk is capable of flying missions with lower ceilings.”

After receiving a medical update from a family member with the patient, the AKRCC coordinated with the 176th Wing to dispatch a 210th Rescue Squadron HH-60G Pave Hawk with a 212th Rescue Squadron Guardian Angel team of pararescuemen on board.

The Pave Hawk crew safely navigated through the weather, where equipment around the cabin precluded the HH-60 from hoisting pararescuemen directly to the cabin.

The crew navigated to a nearby clearing and safely hoisted the GA team down with a litter for patient transport.

“The GA team hiked to the cabin where they provided immediate medical care, prepared the patient for transport and hiked back to the Pave Hawk,” Dickman said.

The patient was hoisted into the Pave Hawk and transported for further medical treatment.

For this rescue, the AK RCC, 210th RQS and 212th RQS were awarded one save.