DPS Helicopter Performs High Altitude Rescue

An AZDPS Bell 429 helicopter performed a difficult rescue within the Chiricahua Mountain range

Cochise County, Ariz. — On August 6, 2018, Cochise County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) requested rescue helicopter support from the AZDPS in order to assist with the recovery of a Search and Rescue (SAR) technician who was injured on a rugged section of the Chiricahua Mountain range.

Ranger 1, a Bell 429 helicopter, flew to Rustlers Park within the Chiricahua Mountain Range between Willcox and Douglas. The SAR tech was suffering from a leg injury and was located on a steep mountainside amid dense brush and pine trees at 8,900 feet above sea level. Taking the ambient temperature into consideration, the density altitude was established at 12,300 feet above sea level.

Ranger 1 lowered a trooper-paramedic to the ground with the helicopter’s hoist. The injured SAR tech was then secured into a harness (screamer suit) and raised back up to the aircraft. Once aboard, the patient was transported to a local hospital for further treatment. The mission represents the highest altitude hoist to date for Ranger 1.

“This rescue is one of many that highlights the amazing work of our Arizona State Troopers,” said Governor Ducey. “Every day these heroic women and men take action to protect and assist Arizonans across the state.”

Funding for Ranger 1 was provided through the Arizona Border Strike Force. The Department’s Aviation Unit participates in the comprehensive collaborative approach to help secure Arizona’s border and enhances response capabilities in the border region in concert with the Arizona Border Strike Force personnel. The Aviation Unit responds to emergency situations when the nature of the injury or terrain requires extraction by air. They deliver life-saving equipment and paramedics directly to patients. The personnel assigned to the unit are committed to rescuing people that are stranded, lost or injured beyond the reach of normal emergency services and bringing them to safety.

Watch the rescue: