A first in Kentucky: National Guard helps rescue woman in Red River Gorge

Photo: Kentucky National Guard
Photo: Kentucky National Guard(WKYT)
Published: May. 20, 2019 at 9:40 PM EDT
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Rescuers in Powell County called in for extra help Saturday afternoon for a rescue that turned out to be the first of its kind in Kentucky.

A woman at the top of the Natural Bridge was seizing. A paramedic with RedSTAR (Red River Gorge Special Treatment, Access, and Rescue) said she needed treatment as soon as possible. That meant a call to the National Guard.

Over the past year, Wolfe County Search and Rescue has been training with the National Guard on search and rescue missions.

A Blackhawk helicopter flew in to take the woman to treatment. Wolfe County Search and Rescue helped hoist the woman up. Previously, they've had to carry people out, losing valuable time that could go to treatment.

"It can take anywhere from two to six hours. It depends on the terrain," said Lisa Johnson with Powell County Search and Rescue.

The teams from Wolfe and Powell counties along with RedSTAR and the National Guard all worked together to get the woman out as quickly as possible.

She was airlifted to a hospital in Lexington. She was treated and released that night.