JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska — Good Samaritans, LifeMed, and Airmen with the Alaska Air National Guard’s 210th and 212th Rescue Squadrons worked together to rescue a pilot and passenger of a Super Cub aircraft July 20.
According to Alaska Air National Guard Maj. Andrew Williams, Alaska Rescue Coordination Center deputy director, the mission was opened in response to a signal from a 406 Emergency Transmitter Locator. After receiving the 406 ELT signal, the AKRCC tasked the Alaska Air National Guard’s 210th and 212th Rescue Squadrons to respond.
Good Samaritans, including Mark Miller of Talaheim Lodge, were the first to arrive on scene. They contacted LifeMed and the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center via a satellite telephone call.
LifeMed quickly dispatched a medevac helicopter and paramedics who arrived shortly thereafter. The LifeMed paramedics treated the pilot and passenger inside the crashed Super Cub but were unable to extricate them from the wreck.
An HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter launched from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson with two Pararescuemen (PJs) equipped with medical equipment and extrication gear.
When the PJs arrived, they secured the wreckage with a special foam designed to prevent fire during extrication. They then used special non-sparking hydraulic rescue cutters, a saw, and other tools to manually extricate the pilot and passenger from the plane.
The LifeMed helicopter and paramedics evacuated the injured individuals to Providence Alaska Medical Center.
Williams lauded the partnership between the Good Samaritans, LifeMed and the Alaska Air National Guard during the rescue.
“The Good Samaritans stabilized the injured occupants as first responders,” he said. “LifeMed got to the crash site before we did and provided critical lifesaving care. They quickly recognized the entrapment situation and requested our expertise to safely extract the pilot and passenger from the aircraft. It’s another fine example of longstanding partnerships working together to take care of fellow Alaskans.”
For this mission, the AKRCC, the 210th and 212th Rescue Squadrons, and LifeMed Alaska were awarded two saves.