A Maryland State Police Helicopter crew performed a hoist rescue over the Appalachian Trail on the afternoon of August 15, 2015. Shortly after 11:30 AM, the Maryland State Police Helicopter Dispatch Center (SYSCOM) received a call from Washington County 911 Center regarding a sick hiker on the Appalachian Trail near High Rock/Fort Ritchie. Preliminary information indicated that there was an individual suffering from a medical illness in a remote area at the bottom of a steep cliff. The remote location and steep terrain precluded a timely extrication by ground.
The crew of Trooper 3, based at Frederick Municipal Airport, was dispatched and immediately began preparing for a hoist rescue. Once overhead, an aerial reconnaissance was conducted and the crew determined that the best method of extraction was to employ a rescue basket.
After positioning the aircraft over the victim at an altitude of approximately 130 feet, a rescue basket was lowered down to the Fire/EMS crew tending to the victim. The crew assisted the victim into the basket and Trooper 3 hoisted the individual into the aircraft. Once inside the aircraft, the crew of Trooper 3 continued to administer advanced life support medical care and transported the patient a short distance to Meritus Medical Center for further evaluation.
Trooper 3 was assisted at the scene by ground units from Washington County Fire & Rescue, the Washington County Special Operations / Advanced Technical Rescue Team, and Franklin County (Pennsylvania) Fire and Rescue.
The Maryland State Police Aviation Command operates a fleet of 10, Augusta-Westland AW139, helicopters based out of 7 sections throughout the state. This mission is a clear demonstration of the multi-mission capability these aircraft provide to our allied public safety partners and the citizens of Maryland.