HEADQUARTERS, U.S. ARMY ALASKA, JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska – A medical evacuation team from C Company, 1st Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment responded to a request from the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center Thursday afternoon and rescued a man who had been injured by a falling tree.
The crew and UH-60 Black Hawk departed Fort Wainwright’s Ladd Army Airfield at just before 6 p.m. and flew to a point about 30 miles east of McGrath, Alaska, to pick up the man, who had injuries to his head and neck. Because of the distance, the helicopter required a fuel stop at McGrath Airfield prior to picking up the patient to have enough fuel to make the return trip. The crew arrived at the patient’s location at 8:45 p.m. and, with the aid of the state trooper on site, moved the patient to the aircraft. The crew departed the location at 9:15 p.m. and arrived at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital at 11:10 p.m. with the stable patient.
The crew then returned to Fort Wainwright to refuel and reestablish a ready posture. The mission required 5.5 hours of flight time, including 2.6 hours flown with night-vision goggles.
The Army, per an agreement with the Rescue Coordination Center, provides assets that may include medical evacuation helicopters to assist in emergency situations in Alaska under provisions of Defense Support to Civil Search and Rescue. These assets are available only at the request of the Alaska RCC.