KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – A Tennessee Army National Guard medical flight crew responded to an emergency air evacuation mission for a hiker with a suspected broken leg in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park area Oct. 14.
At approximately 4:20 p.m., the Tennessee Military Department and Tennessee Emergency Management Agency were notified that a hiker requiring immediate medical care needed to be evacuated along the Alum Cave Trail south of Gatlinburg.
A UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter from the Tennessee National Guard’s Detachment 1, Company C, 1-171st Aviation Regiment, based in Knoxville, assembled in less than 40 minutes and launched.
The flight crew included Chief Warrant Officer 3 Trailson Moore, pilot in command; 1st Lt. Gavin Huffman, pilot; Staff Sgt. Donald Sweet, crew chief; Col. Robert Ross, flight surgeon; and Sgt. 1st Class Tracy Banta and Staff Sgt. Jared Ennis, flight paramedics.
At 5:22 p.m., the aircraft arrived at the hiker’s location. Banta and Ennis were lowered to the ground by a hoist and assessed the injured hiker.
Once the hiker, Banta and Ennis were hoisted onboard, the flight crew continued medical aid while en route to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville. The hiker was delivered to the hospital after a 12-minute flight.