Chattanooga, TN – According to the statement, the alert came in around 2 p.m. Friday afternoon, when both the Tennessee National Guard and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency were informed about a distressed hiker in urgent need of medical attention.

The hiker was located in a remote section near Mount LeConte Lodge, southeast of Gatlinburg, grappling with respiratory distress.

Upon receiving the call, the 1-230th Assault Helicopter Battalion, stationed in Knoxville, swiftly mobilized a flight crew and prepared a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter for immediate deployment. Within fifteen minutes of approval, the aircraft lifted off from Joint Base McGhee-Tyson, charting a direct course towards Mount LeConte Lodge.

The Tennessee Army National Guard’s flight team included Maj. Hulon Holmes and Chief Warrant Officer 3 Luke Hargrove as pilots, Sgt. Daniel Bandy as the crew chief, and two flight paramedics, Sgt. 1st Class Nolan Ogle and Giovanni DeZuani.

Just fourteen minutes into the flight, the helicopter reached the lodge, where the crew promptly identified the distressed hiker alongside park rangers from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park who were already administering first aid.