Alaska Air National Guard Airmen rescue injured hunter near Chicken
By David Bedard,, 176th Wing Public Affairs
/ Published September 01, 2021
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska – Alaska Air National Guardsmen of the 176th Wing rescued a hunter suffering from an accidental gunshot wound Aug. 30 about 170 miles southeast of Fairbanks and north of Chicken.
Another hunting party came upon the injured hunter and notified Alaska State Troopers, who requested assistance from the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center.
Alaska Air National Guard Master Sgt. David Alborn, AKRCC controller, said the center asked the 176th Wing for help. Airmen of the 210th and 212th Rescue Squadrons launched from Eielson Air Force Base on a 210th RQS HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter.
The HH-60 crew located the hunter, and the 212th RQS pararescuemen (PJs) hoisted down from the hovering helicopter and made contact. The PJs medically assessed, treated and hoisted the hunter up to the helicopter.
The HH-60 transported the hunter to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, where he was released to civilian medical professionals.
Alborn underlined the importance of safety during the hunting season.
“We highly recommend hunters take the Alaska Hunter Education Course, which is required for all hunters born after Jan. 1, 1986,” he said. “Key to this rescue was the good Samaritans carrying and use of their satellite communication device to alert first responders. Due to limited cell coverage in remote areas, we recommend that Alaskans carry and be proficient in using a satellite communication device when recreating off-grid.”
For the operation, 210th RQS, 212th RQS and the AKRCC were awarded one save.