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Airmen transport medevac patient to new heliport

A pararescueman from the 131st Rescue Squadron hoists the patient from the APC Peru cargo container ship in to the hovering HH-60G Pave Hawk June 18, 2008. The 129th was credited with its 559th save. (Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Brock Woodward)

A pararescueman from the 131st Rescue Squadron hoists the patient from the APC Peru cargo container ship in to the hovering HH-60G Pave Hawk June 18, 2008. The 129th was credited with its 559th save. (Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Brock Woodward)

MOFFETT FEDERAL AIRFIELD, Calif. -- Air National Guardsmen from the 129th Rescue Wing performed a medical evacuation June 18 for a crewmember experiencing a medical emergency aboard the cargo vessel APC Peru.

Responding to a call from the Coast Guard District 11 Alameda, two HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters and two MC-130P Combat Shadow aerial refueling tankers met the vessel approximately 500 miles off the coast of California. During the rescue operation, specially trained pararescuemen rappelled from the helicopter down to the cargo ship and provided emergency medical treatment to stabilize the patient. The crew then hoisted the patient up to the helicopter and transported him to a local area hospital.

The rescue helicopter landed at the Regional Medical Center of San Jose's new heliport at approximately 9:30 p.m. and transferred the patient to awaiting hospital personnel. The heliport, which just debuted earlier this month, is the first in the area to be certified for use by the 129th Rescue Wing's HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter. Regional's heliport enhances the 129th's ability to obtain expeditious care for persons with life threatening injuries such as the patient in Wednesday's mission.

"It takes a total team effort to pull off a rescue such as the one performed Wednesday," said Col. Amos Bagdasarian, 129th RQW Commander. "Our Airmen coordinated with various agencies, such as the U.S. Coast Guard and the Regional Medical Center of San Jose, to provide life-saving assistance to the patient. This interagency cooperation is critical for strengthening ties and preparing us to respond to local disasters and state emergencies."

This rescue brings the total number of people saved by the 129th RQW to 559.

The primary mission of the 129th RQW is to train and be prepared to perform its federal mission of combat search and rescue anywhere in the world. In addition, the unit also works closely with the Coast Guard and various civil agencies on state missions.

Equipped with MC-130P Combat Shadow tankers and HH-60G Pave Hawk rescue helicopters, the 129th has performed a wide variety of civilian search and rescue missions, including distressed persons aboard ships, lost or injured hikers, and medical evacuations.

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