Maryland State Police helicopter hoists injured person in local rescue call

A crew of rescue and medical personnel with the Maryland State Police were called into Morgan County on Monday afternoon to assist in getting medical attention for a person who was injured by a falling tree.

According to Lt. Nathan Wheelock, Commander of Helicopter Field Operations for Maryland State Police, Helicopter Trooper 5 responded to a call from Morgan County EMS shortly after 3:30 p.m. to assist in extracting a person needing medical attention out of a difficult area in the 10,000 block of Valley Road, off English Muffin Way. The area is south of Cacapon State Park.

Lt. Wheelock said the male was out doing some logging in the area when a tree hit him, causing him multiple injuries.

A crew with Morgan County EMS assessed it would take them too long to get the man out of the difficult area where he was injured, said Lt. Wheelock.

“Due to the multiple sustained injuries, steep terrain and the extended extrication time by ground, Trooper 5 was requested to perform an aerial hoist rescue,” State Police said.

“The helicopter crew configured Trooper 5 for an aerial hoist operation and arrived overhead. The pilots maneuvered the AW-139 helicopter into a steady hover position 180 feet above the rescue crews due to terrain and obstacles. A Trooper/Rescue Technician with medical equipment was lowered to the scene,” police said in a press release about the incident.

Lt. Wheelock said wind gusts on Monday complicated the extraction, which involved the helicopter staying in a “steady hover” 130 feet above the victim and crew member.

A crew member on the ground, with the help of Morgan County EMS, were able to secure the victim, move him to a clearing and hoist him into the helicopter, where troopers immediately started medical treatment.

Four crew members were on board Trooper 5.

Trooper 5 moved out of the area with the man on board within 25 minutes of arriving, said Lt. Wheelock.

“Once the patient was secured inside the aircraft, Trooper 5 transitioned to its medevac role and transported the patient to UPMC Western Maryland Medical Center for further treatment,” said police.

Trooper 5 is based at Cumberland Airport.

The Maryland State Police Aviation Command operates a fleet of 10 helicopters from seven (7) bases throughout Maryland on a 24/7/365 basis.  Missions include medevac, law enforcement, search & rescue, homeland security, and disaster assessment.  The success of rescues performed by the Aviation Command depends a great deal on the cooperative effort of local fire, rescue, EMS and law enforcement agencies.

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