TUCSON, Ariz. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Air and Marine Operations (AMO) extracted a hiker suffering a heat emergency in Sabino Canyon over the weekend.
Friday afternoon, Pima County search and rescue (SAR) contacted the U.S. Border Patrol’s Arizona Air Coordination Center (A2C2) requesting a hoist capable UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter for a heat stroke victim in Sabino Canyon approximately 2.5 miles along the Seven Falls trail northeast of Tucson. At the time, the SAR team was still enroute to the victim and requested a helicopter in case air evacuation was necessary. The A2C2 relayed the request to the AMO Tucson Air Branch at Davis Monthan Air Force Base.
At approximately 1:15 p.m. the UH-60 crew launched from the Air Branch and was on scene within 7 minutes. Upon arrival, the aircrew located the patient and the SAR team, but could not find a suitable landing area near the patient due to the steep, rugged terrain. The aircrew inserted a single Rescue Specialist via hoist at approximately 35 feet. The patient and Rescue Specialist were extracted via hoist. An AMO Emergency Medical Technician on board assessed the 25-year male U.S. citizen patient who was suffering from heat related injuries. The patient was transported to a Pima County Sheriff’s Office rescue team nearby.
“When someone is in trouble whether it be along the border or elsewhere throughout southern Arizona, citizenship, nationality, or immigration status is a non-issue,” said Director of Air Operations, Tucson Air Branch, Michael Montgomery. “The same tools used for border security are immediately directed to the person in need whether they are atop in inaccessible peak in the Baboquivari Mountains or elsewhere.”
AMO safeguards our Nation by anticipating and confronting security threats through our aviation and maritime law enforcement expertise, innovative capabilities, and partnerships at the border and beyond. With federal agents and mission support personnel, aircraft, and marine vessels operating throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands, AMO conducts its mission in the air and maritime environments at and beyond the border, and within the nation's interior.