Video: Rescue 3 Flight Crew Hoists Injured Victim to Safety
A Spokane Regional Air Support Unit (SRASU) Flight Crew responded to assist an injured hiker at the Liberty Lake Regional Park. Rescue 3, a Bell UH-1H Super Huey, is equipped with a long line and hoist system for short-haul rescue missions and was requested due to the patient’s remote location and potential injuries.
On April 20, 2021, Spokane Regional Air Support Unit Rescue 3 Flight Crews received a request from responding medical personnel to assist rescuing a fall victim. The female victim in her 50’s fell during a hike on the Edith Hansen Trail (AKA: Trail to the Cabin) in the Liberty Lake Regional Park. On a steep and treed hillside, approximately 3.5 miles in on the trail, the remote location did not allow for a ground vehicle response.
With the patient unable to walk and showing signs of shock, the Rescue 3 Flight Crew was summoned and quickly launched the helicopter.
Once on station, hovering approximately 150 feet above the injured hiker, Crew Chief Welton safely lowered Rescue Medic Chris Cornelius to the ground. RM Cornelius evaluated the patient’s injuries. The decision was made to hoist her from the location instead of waiting for ground crews who were making the long and arduous trek.
Once safely secured in the safety harness, RM Cornelius called for the hoist line. Volunteer Pilots Dave Valenti and Jack Scanlon slowly positioned Rescue 3 above as Crew Chief Welton lowered the hoist, skillfully placing the safety latch in RM Cornelius’ hand. Once locked into the hoist line, they were safely lifted from the ground and secured inside Rescue 3.
Rescue 3 made the short flight to Pavilion Park in Liberty lake and landed. The victim was transferred to awaiting AMR personnel and transported via ambulance to the hospital for additional care for her non-life-threatening injuries.
The Rescue 3 Flight Crew for this incident was:
Volunteer Pilot Dave Valenti
Volunteer Pilot Jack Scanlon
Crew Chief/Hoist Operator – Spokane Valley Police Corporal Jeff Welton
Helicopter Rescue Medic Chris Cornelius – Captain, City of Spokane Valley Fire Department
Helicopter Rescue Medic Bob Nixon – Firefighter, City of Spokane Fire Department
The Spokane Regional Air Support Unit is comprised of Volunteer Pilots, Tactical Flight Officers (TFO’s) from local law enforcement agencies, and Helicopter Rescue Medics (HRM’s), certified EMTs, from Spokane Valley Fire Department and Spokane City Fire Department.
TFO’s: Deputies and Officers from the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office, Spokane Valley Police Department, Coeur d’Alene Police Department, Spokane Police Department, and the Liberty Lake Police Department.
Air 1 and Air 2: Two OH-58’s equipped with Forward-Looking Infra-Red (FLIR), which allows aircrews to detect heat on the ground. FLIR can be used to locate both missing people and hiding fugitives. Air-1 and Air-2 are also equipped with a 30 million candle power searchlight, GPS moving map system, and the flight crews are equipped with night vision goggles. In addition, Air-1 is equipped with a downlink that transmits live video from the helicopter to the Mobile Command Vehicle. The microwave downlink allows police and fire staff to see real-time video from the helicopter and make timely decisions based on what they see.
Rescue 3: A Bell UH-1H Super Huey is equipped with a long line and hoist system for short-haul rescue missions. The long line and hoist system allow our Tactical Flight Medics and Tactical Flight Officers to be lowered from Rescue 3 in order to retrieve a citizen that is either injured or lost in remote areas. The primary mission for Rescue 3 is search and rescue.