Released: Oct. 26, 2020
By: David Bedard
176th Wing Public Affairs
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska — Alaska Air National Guardsmen of the 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 the authorities on scene from 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 who dispatched a 210th Rescue Squadron HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter carrying 212th Rescue Squadron Pararescuemen (PJs).
Airmen of 210th RQS operate the HH-60G, which is the Department of Defense's only dedicated combat search and rescue helicopter. PJs of 212th RQS are highly trained technical rescue specialists with extensive medical training. Both squadrons deploy for high-risk combat and civil search and rescue missions.
Due to inclement weather at the site, 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 then carried her back to the HH-60.
The patient was transported to Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage where she was released to higher 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.
Army Guard Road,
JBER, AK 99505