The National Guard launched a helicopter from Bethel to rescue a man at a remote camp outside Emmonak Wednesday. The elderly man was ice fishing when he suddenly collapsed. The group he was with transported him back to the camp. A VPSO made it to the scene and state troopers called for the medevac. Sergeant Edward Eagerton is a spokesperson for the National Guard.
“The man was about 19 miles out of Emmonak, and because of the remote nature, they needed rotary assets,” said Eagerton.
Crews in Bethel launched the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter for the 130 mile trip to the camp. They made contact with a VPSO who was on scene.
“He basically walked them in and told them they were going to light a signal fire so they could find their exact location. So they lit the fire and the helicopter was able to pinpoint their location and land,” said Eagerton.
Three medics from LifeMed went into the cabin to assess the patient.
“So once they realized he was stable, they loaded him up into the helicopter and flew him back to Bethel,” said Eagerton.
They returned at approximately 7:30 p.m. The man was taken to the hospital in stable condition.