NAS Fallon SAR conducts rescue southeast of Eureka
The Nevada Department of Emergency Management received a distress call from the Eureka Sheriff’s Office stating a woman was suffering from cardiac distress symptoms while on a hike with her family on June 30.
Naval Air Station Fallon received the request for immediate life-saving response from military aircraft from NDEM via the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC).
The Longhorn helicopter Search and Rescue (SAR) team from NAS Fallon conducted the rescue 30 miles southeast of Eureka.
“When the airfield is closed, like it was on Saturday, each member of the team is on a 120 recall,” said Lt. Kat Wallace, “which means that no matter where we are or what we are doing, we have two hours to be back and ready to take-off.”
The crew of six departed NAS Fallon at 3:05 p.m. for the 45-minute flight covering more than 100 miles, to the GPS point of the survivor. With the sheriff’s office already there, and in a suitable landing site with clear terrain, the crew landed to assess the patient.
Once on the ground, the senior medical technician (SMT) performed an expedited medical assessment of the survivor and with the assistance of his fellow crew members, prepared the survivor for the transit to the hospital.
With the survivor, SMT and crew safely onboard the aircraft, the crew provided in-flight care during the 45-minute transit to Banner Churchill Medical Center. The survivor was turned over to emergency room staff at 5:20 p.m.
“Having the sheriff’s office already there and with the patient made this a much easier and quicker rescue for us than it could have been,” said co-pilot Lt. Brad Hansen.
This rescue, which required expert skill in helicopter mountain rescue techniques, was the 6th rescue of 2018 for NAS Fallon SAR. The Navy SAR unit operates three MH-60S “Knighthawk” helicopters as search and rescue/medical evacuation (SAR/MEDEVAC) platforms for the Fallon Range Training Complex in Nevada.
Pursuant to the National SAR Plan of the United States, the unit may also be used for civil SAR/MEDEVAC needs to the fullest extent practicable on a non-interference basis with primary military duties according to applicable national directives, plans, guidelines and agreements; specifically, the unit may launch in response to tasking by the AFRCC for inland missions, and/or tasking by the NAS Fallon Commanding Officer for all other aeronautical and maritime regions, when other assets are unavailable.