AFRC Airmen Help Rescue Skier

AFRC Airmen Help Rescue Skier: Two weeks after completing a joint search-and-rescue exercise with local Oregon-based first responders, Air Force Reserve Command airmen with the 304th Rescue Squadron, Portland, Ore., were dispatched to Mount Hood on May 6 for a long-haul glacier rescue mission. Five pararescuemen from the unit helped rescue an injured skier who fell more than 300 feet through a boulder field and landed on the mountain’s Reid Glacier. “We’ve practiced everything from glacier to avalanched rescue scenarios using all the SAR principles we have been taught,” said SSgt. Josiah Blanton. This was no quick fly in and pluck out mission—the airmen traveled by Snow Cat, hiked for half a mile, and pulled and climbed to get the injured skier up and down the mountain—spending five hours in freezing weather. It paid off; medics reported the skier in good condition.