JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska — Airmen with the Alaska Air National Guard’s 210th and 212th Rescue Squadrons rescued an injured skier March 3 at Snowbird Hut north of Wasilla.
According to Alaska Air National Guard Master Sgt. Gailanne Paculba, Alaska Rescue Coordination Center, the mission was opened in response to a request for assistance from the Alaska State Troopers.
An HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter from the 210th Rescue Squadron launched from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson at about 3:30 p.m. Aboard the helicopter were two pararescuemen who are both highly trained personnel specializing in rescue operations.
After receiving a report of the injured skier, the AKRCC tasked the Guardsmen to respond.
The pararescuemen assessed the skier and packaged him for hoist by Pave Hawk.
The HH-60G transported the skier to the Providence Alaska Medical Center where the pararescuemen handed him off to hospital staff at about 5:30 p.m.
Paculba credited a member of the skier’s party for having and properly using a GPS device with satellite communication capabilities to aid rescue efforts, which saved valuable time and enabled a quick rescue operation.
For this mission, the 210th and 212th Rescue Squadrons were awarded one save.