Chattanooga, TN – Just before 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time, the Tennessee National Guard and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency received a distress call regarding a hiker in urgent need of medical assistance. The hiker was situated at Icewater Spring, over 5,000 feet above sea level.

TEMA swiftly authorized the rescue mission shortly after 7:15 p.m. Within an hour, a flight crew from the Tennessee National Guard’s Task Force Smokey departed from McGhee-Tyson Air National Guard Base to execute the rescue operation.

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Peter Neveu and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Andres Salas piloted the mission, with Sgt 1st Class Cassandra Antes serving as the paramedic. Staff Sgt. Daniel Bandy and Staff Sgt. Ernest Harlan assumed the roles of crew chiefs.

Approximately 20 minutes after departure, the UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter reached the scene and conducted a swift hoist rescue, carefully lifting the hiker into the aircraft.

The crew expedited the hiker’s transport to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, completing the operation by shortly after 9:00 p.m. From the initial alert to the handoff of the patient at the hospital, the entire mission spanned about two hours.