State Spotlight: South Carolina

Guard Helicopter Crew Rescues Fallen Hiker

The Army National Guard has a reputation as any governor’s go-to team to activate in natural disasters like floods and wildfires, but sometimes a team with special skills can be called in to help out with problems of a smaller scale.

Members of the South Carolina Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team (SC-HART) responded to a call last week to rescue a hiker stranded on a mountain ledge at Table Rock State Park, west of Greenville, S.C.

The hiker was airlifted from the mountain at about 9:25 a.m. after reportedly being stranded for several hours after falling about 70 feet.

According to crew reports, Pickens County emergency management authorities requested support from SC-HART, comprised of members of the South Carolina Army National Guard and civilians, when rescuers on-site realized that a helicopter was going to be the most effective means of reaching and extracting the hiker.

Members of the South Carolina Helicopter Aquatic Recue Team (SC-HART) responded to a call to rescue a hiker stranded on a mountain ledge at Table Rock State Park Jan. 5, 2017. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by SSG Roberto Di Giovine)

“It was key to use a helicopter to rescue the hiker. Due to difficult conditions, the rescuers on the ground couldn’t reach him,” said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Tripp Hutto, UH-60 Black Hawk Helicopter Pilot from the 2nd Battalion, 151st Aviation Regiment. “We could see from the air, it looked like the closest [rescuers on foot] could get to him was about 80 feet.”

After the call for support was received through State Emergency Management channels, both the civilian and military components of SC-HART rescuers were simultaneously activated.

The South Carolina Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter and crew deployed from McEntire Joint National Guard Base in Eastover, S.C., picking up a team of rescuers from Pickens County at the South Carolina National Guard’s Army Aviation Support Facility 2 in Greenville to help with the rescue.

Once the hiker was on board, the SC-HART helicopter landed near a pre-positioned ambulance on-site, where the hiker was released to emergency medical support personnel.

“The rescue went smoothly and was conducted without incident,” said CW4 Hutto. “The SC-HART team works well together due to partnerships developed through past training and real world events, including the statewide flooding of 2015. This allowed for a seamless rescue.”

So if you’re interested in a job where you can come to the rescue in your community, check out what the Army National Guard has to offer: part-time service that’s close to home, more than 150 career fields, and great benefits like money for college. Check out our job board for more information on careers and contact a recruiter today.

From an original article by SSG Roberto Di Giovine and CPT Brian Hare, South Carolina Army National Guard, which appeared in January 2017 in the news section of

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