JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska –
Alaska Army National Guard’s G Company, 2nd Battalion, 211th General Support Aviation Battalion rescued an injured mountain biker south of Kenai Lake in Cooper Landing, Alaska, May 30.
The Alaska Rescue Coordination Center received the support request from the Alaska State Troopers. Lt. Col. Christen Brewer, AKRCC director, said the request came from the AST due to the need for a hoist-capable aircraft.
“The patient was mountain biking off the road system and we were informed of a possible spinal injury,” said Brewer.
First Battalion, 207th Aviation Regiment accepted the mission and tasked it to a UH-60L Black Hawk helicopter crew already on standby for emergency response. At 6:30 p.m. the Black Hawk and crew launched from Bryant Army Airfield here.
Before the crew’s arrival, the injured bicyclist was initially stabilized by Cooper Landing Emergency Services. At the rescue site the crew lowered down their paramedic to prepare the patient for hoisting in a basket designed for back injuries.
“With no place to land the Black Hawk and a potential back injury, it was especially crucial to secure the patient for the hoist,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 J.D. Miller, the pilot in command for the mission.
Once recovered, the crew transported and released the patient to civilian medical professionals at Providence Alaska Medical Center at 9:30 p.m.
Miller said with summer in full swing the crew needs to be ready for a variety of calls.
“It’s the season where things really start picking up,” said Miller. “From break-up conditions to hunting, the crew is ready and capable to respond.”
For this mission, the AKRCC and 207th AVN were credited with one save.