Maryland State Police Helicopter Crew Rescues Three In Separate Hoist Missions In West Virginia
(LANEVILLE, WEST VIRGINIA) – A Maryland State Police helicopter crew rescues three people in two separate hoist missions Sunday in West Virginia.
Shortly after 7:45 a.m. on Sunday, the Maryland State Police Aviation Command was called to perform an aerial rescue for an injured hiker and his teenage son. The father-son pair had been out in the woods in Tucker County, West Virginia since Saturday, when the father suffered an injury. Trooper 5, based out of the Cumberland Section, was requested for the aerial rescue due to the rescuers’ limited resources, terrain difficulties, an extended extrication time and the nature of the father’s injuries.
The helicopter was configured for a hoist while the pilots filed for an instrument flight rules clearance. These rules are rules and regulations to govern flight under conditions in which flight by outside visual reference is not safe. Once overhead, the 49-year-old injured hiker, and his 13-year-old son, were located along the Red Creek Trail in Dolly Sods along the river.
The pilots maneuvered the August AW-139 helicopter into a steady 170-foot hover above the terrain, while a state trooper/flight paramedic was lowered below. The trooper/paramedic, obtained report from EMS personnel, performed an assessment on the injured man and secured him in a ARVQC Rescue Vest, commonly called the “screamer suit.” The patient was hoisted into the helicopter while the trooper remained on the ground until the patient’s son was also hoisted into the helicopter with the screamer suit.
Once all persons were hoisted inside the helicopter, Trooper 5 transitioned into a medevac role and the adult patient was transported to the J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital, located in Morgantown, West Virginia, for treatment of his injuries.
The second rescue occurred in the same region of Tucker County, West Virginia at about 2:50 p.m. on Sunday. Trooper 5 was returning from the previous mission when this hoist request was made. Once overhead of the hoist location, the injured hiker, a 55-year-old man was located alongside the Red Creek Trail in Dolly Sods adjacent to the river’s edge. The pilots maneuvered the helicopter into a steady 150-foot hover above the terrain, while a state trooper/flight paramedic was lowered below. The trooper/paramedic, obtained report from EMS personnel, performed an assessment on the injured man and with assistance from rescuers with the Harman, Canaan, Davis, and Whitmer (West Virginia) fire companies, secured him in a patient extrication platform.
Once the injured man was hoisted inside the helicopter, Trooper 5 transitioned into a medevac role and he was also transported to the J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital for treatment of his injuries.
The Maryland State Police Aviation Command staffs each helicopter with two pilots and two state trooper/medical clinicians. The MSPAC has served Maryland citizens since 1970 and operates a fleet of 10 AW139 helicopters from seven bases throughout the State. Each aircraft provides coverage 24/7/365 to Maryland residents and visitors. The MSPAC missions include medevac, law enforcement, search and rescue, homeland security, and disaster assessment. The success of the aerial rescues and all missions performed by the Aviation Command depends a great deal on monthly, quarterly, and annual proficiency training and is a cooperative effort with allied law enforcement, fire department, EMS agencies and our partners with the United States Coast Guard and the United States Park Police.
CONTACT: First Sergeant Jeffrey Leppert, Assistant Commander, MSPAC Western Region,
[email protected], (301) 663-5742