By RCAF public affairs
Members of Edmonton-based 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron (THS) rescued a seriously injured hiker near Cline River Heliport on Monday, September 22, at approximately 3:45 p.m. MDT.
A Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CH-146 Griffon helicopter from 408 THS was conducting a Landing Zone (LZ) reconnaissance flight in support of the 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Basic Mountain Operations Course when it received a radio request from the nearby Cline River Heliport to assist a seriously injured hiker.
Responding to a life-threatening situation, the Griffon landed in challenging terrain while the first officer and flight engineer assisted with carrying the hiker by stretcher over rugged ground to the waiting helicopter. The Griffon crew then conducted a medical evacuation flight to Rocky Mountain House Health Centre where they were met by staff who had been alerted to their arrival. The hiker was left conscious and under hospital care.
“The aircraft commander acted decisively and took the appropriate action to preserve life in this situation. We’re certainly glad we were able to assist, said Lieutenant-Colonel Rod MacDonnell, the commanding officer of 408 THS. “While we are not primarily a search and rescue squadron, this incident shows the flexibility of air power and that all RCAF aircraft can add to the search and rescue role to assist Canadians in need of our help.”