YAKIMA TRAINING CENTER, Wash. – Soldiers assigned to the United States Army Air Ambulance Detachment- Yakima (USAAAD-YTC) “Yakima Dustoff,” 2-158 Assault Helicopter Battalion, 16th Combat Aviation Brigade performed an aeromedical evacuation of a civilian near Mount Stuart, Wash. last weekend.
An aircrew from Yakima Dustoff performed a life-saving aeromedical evacuation on Aug. 6, 2022.
“Compared to last weekend where we had three missions in four days, two of which were near this same location, this weekend was relatively quiet minus this rescue, but every mission is serious and receives our utmost professionalism,” said Capt. Alec DeGroat, commander of USAAAD-YTC.
The unit is based out of Yakima Training Center in central Washington. USAAAD operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to provide aeromedical evacuation support for thousands of service members training at Yakima Training Center each year.
Additionally, the detachment works with the Washington State Emergency Operations Center, local sheriff departments, and civilian volunteers to provide rescue coverage in south-central Washington’s remote wilderness areas.
“At approximately 4:45 p.m. on Aug. 6, the mission came in from the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office, requesting assistance for a 34-year-old climber who was suffering from an ankle injury and unable to move. There were no roads nearby and ground rescue would have taken more than six hours to reach the injured civilian,” said DeGroat.
Within 10 minutes of mission approval, DUSTOFF 833 suited up and swiftly responded to the call.
“The flight crew navigated to the rugged terrain near Mount Stuart to locate the injured person. After assessing the patient location, the team was able to land the aircraft and send the flight medic to reach the patient on foot,” DeGroat said.
Upon their completion of the extraction, the crew stabilized, secured, and transported the patient to Yakima Memorial Hospital in stable condition.
The life-saving aeromedical evacuation is a collaborative effort. As a detachment with 33 personnel and four aircraft, every member of the team is vital to Yakima Dustoff.
The 16th Combat Aviation Brigade operates two aeromedical evacuation units that provide defense support to civil authorities: Yakima Dustoff in central Washington and Arctic Dustoff in central Alaska.