(Smithsburg, MD) On Friday May 16, 2014 at approximately 12:09 PM, Washington County Fire/EMS Officials were notified that a 65 year-old hiker located on a remote portion of the Appalachian Trail was possibly having a stroke.
Washington County requested the Maryland State Police Aviation Command to respond and assist in locating the acutely ill hiker. Trooper 3, the MSP helicopter based in Frederick, Maryland, was assigned to the mission.
Upon arriving in the area, Trooper-3 was able to locate the victim with the assistance of the Washington and Frederick County Emergency Dispatch Centers who maintained telephone contact with the victim during the search. Once located the Washington County Fire Rescue Command Post requested for Trooper-3 to complete an aerial hoist rescue to minimize the time to extricate the victim by ground and subsequently prolong her delivery to a hospital.
Trooper 3 utilized it’s new aircraft, an Agusta AW-139, to perform the rescue. The crew on Trooper-3 utilized the aircraft’s hoist to lower a rescue basket to the victim’s location.
Washington County Fire Rescue personnel had arrived at the victim’s location and assisted the victim on the ground during te rescue. Once the victim was secured in the rescue basket, Trooper 3 maintained a hover over an opening in the trees and successfully hoisted the victim to the aircraft. Once the patient was hoisted safely to the aircraft, the crew transported the victim to Meritus Hospital in Hagerstown, MD for further assessment, and treatment.
The Maryland State Police Aviation Command has served Maryland citizens since 1970. Aviation Command Missions include medevac, law enforcement, search & rescue, homeland security, and disaster assessment. The success of rescues performed by the Aviation Command depends a great deal on the cooperative effort of local fire, rescue, EMS, and law enforcement agencies.