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Maryland State Police News Release

State Police Helicopter Performs Hoist Rescue Of Patient In Garrett Co.

(BITTINGER, MD) – Just after noon yesterday, Garrett County Emergency Dispatch was notified that an unconscious adult male had been struck in the head by a falling tree near Bittinger, Md.  Garrett County emergency services requested the assistance of the Maryland State Police Aviation Command (Trooper 5) to perform an aerial hoist of the patient from a location near the accident. Garrett County personnel advised that patient extrication by ground would take at least two hours. While enroute to the scene, the crew of Trooper 5 learned that ground EMS personnel were still working to gain access to the patient.

The helicopter landed near the scene at an established landing zone and configured for a possible hoist extraction. The crew was informed that ground EMS were successful in gaining access to the patient by foot. Trooper 5 then took off and arrived over the scene and established a steady 150 foot hover. Trooper 5 performed a static hoist deployment of the Trooper/Paramedic and equipment to the ground crews. Trooper 5 then repositioned the helicopter away from the scene to allow for ground crews to work and not be subjected to the helicopter’s rotor wash.  Trooper 5 returned to the scene and reestablished a steady hover and performed a hoist extraction of the secured patient. The Trooper/Paramedic and patient were safely hoisted up into the cabin. Once the patient, crew and equipment were secure onboard, the aircraft transitioned into forward flight and returned to the medevac role. The patient was transported to Ruby Trauma Center in West Virginia.

The following agencies were involved in the rescue: Maryland State Police Aviation Command, Garrett County Fire/EMS and WVU Ruby Trauma Center in Morgantown, WV.

The Maryland State Police Aviation Command has served Maryland citizens since 1970, and operates a fleet of ten helicopters from seven bases throughout Maryland on a 24/7/365 basis.  Missions include medevac, law enforcement, search & rescue, homeland security, and disaster assessment.  The success of rescues performed by the Aviation Command depends a great deal on the cooperative effort of local fire, rescue, EMS, law enforcement agencies, and our partners at the United States Coast Guard.

Contact:  Lieutenant Nathan Wheelock

                 Commander – Helicopter Field Operations

                 (410) 238-5804


First Sergeant Jeffery Partridge

Section Supervisor Trooper 5

(301) 777-8400