HomeMediaArticle Display

563rd RQG saves local boy

DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- Airmen assigned to the 563rd Rescue Group assisted state and local law enforcement and rescue units to save a local teenager Thursday after a hiking accident. 

A loosened boulder struck two of the four Sabino High School students who were hiking together in Soldier Canyon Wednesday afternoon. One teen went for help while the other stayed with his two injured friends.

Emergency rescue volunteers responded to the injured teens, but due to rough terrain could only carry one boy off the mountain. After the terrain difficulties also derailed the rescue attempt by the Department of Public Safety helicopter crew, they requested military assistance.

"We were just getting ready for a night training sortie when we got the call," said Tech. Sgt. Christopher Friesz, the mission's flight engineer.

The Davis-Monthan aircrew responded to the mountainside within an hour, and lowered a pararescueman to hoist the boy into the hovering helicopter.

The boy was transferred to the University Medical Center for treatment at 10 p.m. According to the command post report, he was admitted to the hospital approximately three hours after the squadron received the initial call.

Maj. Brett Hartnett, 563rd Operational Support Squadron assistant director of operations, attributes the mission success to the ability and skill of the Airmen and local rescuers.

"The success of this mission is a testament to our close bond with local authorities, who are properly educated on how to request help," he said.

So far this year, the 563rd RQG has performed three rescues, which resulted in four lives saved.