According to a statement from the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office, the helicopter Henry-1 rescued a National Guardsman who had been assigned to the firefighting effort. The Guardsman fell and suffered a serious leg injury.
At about 3 p.m. on Sept. 2, Henry-1 was dispatched to a remote area off of Stewarts Point/Skaggs Springs Road to rescue an injured firefighter. While the Guardsman’s fire crew was maneuvering across some extremely steep terrain, he slipped and fell 100 feet down a hill and landed in a rocky draw underneath a fallen tree.
The helicopter crew arrived within 10 minutes and located the injured man after a brief search. After discussing a plan, the crew landed nearby and configured the helicopter for a long line rescue. The pilot flew the tactical flight officer/emergency medical technician (TFO) and all the needed gear to the scene.
The TFO detached from the line and worked with the National Guard medic to stabilize the injured man and prepare him for flight. They protected and stabilized a potentially seriously leg injury and the TFO secured him into the rescue stretcher. Once secure, the pilot was then summoned to bring the 200’ long line to the scene.
Once the injured man, TFO and all the gear were attached to the long line, the TFO and pilot communicated to complete a very precise series of small altitude and directional changes. This was required as the pilot could not see the bottom of the line due to overhanging trees and logs. Once they were free of obstacles and visible to the pilot, they were flown about a mile to the closest spot an ambulance could drive to. Care of the injured man was transferred to an ambulance crew.