Lexington, KY | Count on LEX 18

Bevin Recognizes Historic Gorge Rescue Using Blackhawk Chopper

(LEX 18) — On Monday, Gov. Matt Bevin recognized a historic rescue in which a UH-60 Blackhawk was used for the first time in Kentucky for such a mission.

On the way home from training May 18, soldiers with the Kentucky National Guard received a call that a woman hiking in the Red River Gorge was having a medical emergency and needed to be rescued.

“The area’s kind of isolated, so to get somebody down by hand or by foot could take a long time. But with us, we can get there in a short amount of time and transfer them to a hospital,” said Staff Sgt. Shaun Morris.

For the first time in Kentucky, a UH-60 Blackhawk was deployed for a rescue mission.

“It’s really the only three specialized helicopters in the state that are able to do this kind of mission with a hoist,” said Staff Sgt. Jeremy Lowe. “Once he put me down, it was just, making sure I was safe getting down to the area, locating the patient, packaging her up, making sure she was gonna be safe for travel.”

“We trained up for it. We did a lot of work with those guys last year, and this was the time we were able to get out the door and make it happen,” said Captain Jonathan Strayer.

With the help from Wolfe and Powell County Search and Rescue teams, and Red Squad, the victim was recovered, hoisted onto the helicopter, and flown to the University of Kentucky Medical Center.

“It was awesome, especially the next day when we got the word she was doing good, she was recovering, fully-recovered, and back home with her family,” said Strayer.

Bridgett Howard

Bridgett Howard

Bridgett is a web content producer. She was hired in 2015.
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