On Friday May 29, 2015 at 11:20am, the Wicomico County 911 center received a call for a person experiencing a heat related medical emergency in the area of Muddy Hole Road & Trinity Church Road, Tyaskin, MD. Upon arrival rescue crews had to trek across nearly 300 yards of marshland before reaching the victim. Crews discovered a 69 year old male victim experiencing heat exhaustion and in need of hospitalization. Due to the victim’s location and condition, a hoist extraction was considered more expeditious and beneficial to the patient.
The Maryland State Police Aviation Command’s “Easton Section - Trooper 6” was dispatched for the hoist mission. The helicopter crew consisted of Pilot in Command: Mr. Brian Martin, Second in Command: Mr. David Eldredge, Crew Chief/Flight Paramedic: Corporal Brian Francis and Rescue Technician: Trooper Tyler Brice. After establishing communications with Wicomico County 911 and the rescuers on the scene; an aerial evaluation of the terrain and situation was conducted. Utilization of the AgustaWestland AW-139’s Goodrich hoist and deployment of the rescue technician into the marsh was deemed necessary for immediate patient extraction.
Once inserted on the ground the rescue technician assessed the victim and packaged the patient to ensure a safe extraction. Once the victim and rescue technician were safely secured inside of the helicopter, the crew of Trooper 6 continued medical treatment while transporting the heat exhausted patient to Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, MD for further evaluation and treatment.
This search and rescue incident highlights the team work that occurs daily by Maryland’s emergency medical care system. The Maryland State Police Aviation Command has served Maryland citizens since 1970 and operates a fleet of ten helicopters from seven 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.