KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Training turned real for several East Tennessee search and rescue teams after a real-life emergency situation interrupts a training exercise.
On Thursday, May 4 at 10:30 a.m., the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office received a report of an injured hunter in the remote part of the Cherokee National Forest. According to the Rafter Volunteer Fire Department, the hunter fell down while turkey hunting and broke his ankle.
The Monroe County Search and Rescue Incident Management Team was activated and responded to the area according to Sheriff Tommy Jones. The hunter was found with help from the Monroe County Rescue Squad, Turkey Creek Fire Department, Mt. Vernon Fire Department, Rafter Volunteer Fire Department, Tri-Community Fire Department, Monroe County EMS and Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA).
A National Guard helicopter was dispatched to assist in the rescue. The hunter was then air-lifted to an area hospital. The Rafter Volunteer Fire Department shared that the hunter is safe and recovered.
Several of the agencies involved in the rescue were completing search and rescue training with TEMA when the call for help was received according to the Rafter Volunteer Fire Department.
“The guys all joined up and got to go experience firsthand how to go about helping someone in need. We’re happy to say he is safe and recovered thanks to these incredible and dedicated people!” wrote the Rafter Volunteer Fire Department on Facebook.