Airmen in your community: Rescue Airmen work together to save an injured hiker

2014-01-06T00:00:00Z Airmen in your community: Rescue Airmen work together to save an injured hikerBy Senior Airman Josh Slavin 355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Arizona Daily Star

On the evening of Dec. 19, Airmen with the 48th Rescue Squadron and 55th Rescue Squadron at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., performed a real-world rescue mission to save an elderly woman who had fallen while hiking in the mountains.

The 70-year-old hiker, who was visiting from Portal, Ariz., slipped on the loose terrain and sustained a fractured hip. A member of her group hiked to the nearest populated area and called for help. Once the local authorities were notified, the rescue Airmen were called into action.

Staff Sgt. Robert Trubee and Staff Sgt. James Barnard, 48th RQS pararescuemen, worked with an aircrew from the 55th RQS to evacuate the injured woman.

While conducting the rescue mission the crew members met several obstacles including harsh weather conditions, rough terrain and low visibility. They had to rely on their years of experience to successfully evacuate the patient.

"To be in that kind of area, at night, with high winds like that is not something we normally do," said Master Sgt. William Fritsch, 55th RQS operations superintendent. "I think in the five years that I've been doing this it was probably the most challenging mission that I've had, even in combat."

After Trubee and Barnard successfully reached the patient, they applied a splint and performed precautionary procedures to prevent any further injuries.

Once the patient was lifted into the helicopter the crew evacuated her to University Medical Center where she received further medical attention. Thanks to the expertise and swift actions of the crew, they were able to complete a successful evacuation.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

About this blog

Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, known as “D-M” to our neighbors, is home to the 355th Fighter Wing, the premier air combat base for all Air Force A-10 C fighter aircraft training. Davis-Monthan is also home to other vital Department of Defense units including 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern), 55th Electronic Combat Group, 563rd Rescue Group and the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group, nicknamed “The Boneyard.”

Davis-Monthan is located within the city limits of Tucson, Ariz., and has been an integral part of the Tucson community since its dedication in 1927. In fiscal year 2012, Davis-Monthan circulated approximately $1.1 billion ($1.6 billion including retirees) into the local community and created 4,687 jobs in Tucson. The more than 10,800 personnel, who are assigned and employed at Davis-Monthan, live, work and educate their children in the Tucson metropolitan area. Nearly 75 percent of our 7,537 military service members live off base.

D-M Airmen are proud to serve their country, deploying to nearly every corner of the globe. At any given time 500 or more are deployed in support of worldwide operations. D-M Airmen are also proud to call Tucson home. The valuable relationship with the Tucson community and Southern Arizona supporters helps us achieve our missions.

Check out D-M’s economic impact.

Watch our Mission video.

Read more on our website and our Facebook page.

If you have suggestions, comments or questions about this blog, e-mail: 355WGPA@DM.AF.MIL

Featured businesses

View more...

Deals, offers & events

View more...