KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A hiker suffering from a severe illness was rescued from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Tuesday by the Tennessee Army National Guard.
Around 1:50 p.m. on August 15, the Tennessee National Guard and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency were told that a sick hiker needing medical assistance was in a remote area of the national park, roughly 1.5 miles west of Clingmans Dome. Within an hour of being notified, guardsmen assigned to the 1-230th Assault Helicopter Battalion in Knoxville assembled a flight crew, prepared a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter, and launched to rescue the hiker.
The aircraft departed McGhee-Tyson Air National Guard Base at 2:40 p.m. and arrived at the rescue site 12 minutes later. They were able to locate the hiker and rangers from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, who were rendering first aid.
The flight paramedics were lowered to the ground by hoist to do a quick medical assessment and prepare the hiker for transport. After a few minutes rendering aid, the hiker hoisted into the Blackhawk helicopter hovering above. The patient continued to receive aid from the paramedics inside the aircraft.
Once everyone was on the helicopter, the crew flew to the University of Tennessee Medical Center where the hiker was rushed into the emergency room.
The Tennessee National Guard shared that the entire rescue mission took less than an hour.