National Guard rescues injured biker in Cooper Landing

a person being hoisted through the air by a helicoper
The helicopter crew used a hoist to bring the cyclist on board after he was stabilized by Cooper Landing Emergency Services. (Courtesy Of Amy Cyr)

The Alaska Army National Guard rescued an injured mountain biker in Cooper Landing Monday — the second National Guard rescue in the area in under a week.

Alaska State Troopers said in an online report that they received a report about an injured cyclist around 3:30 p.m. Monday. The cyclist had crashed on a trail just off the southeast corner of Cooper Lake, on the Resurrection River trail.

Paramedics from Cooper Landing Emergency Medical Services were first on scene around 4 p.m. and determined it would be best to airlift the cyclist, who had sustained possible spinal injuries.

That’s when the Army National Guard stepped in. J.D. Miller was the pilot in command for the mission. He said they got the notification around 6:30 p.m. and, shortly after, launched a Black Hawk helicopter from Bryant Army Airfield in Anchorage

“We were able to get consolidated with a plan and off the ground in an hour and a half after we were initially notified of what was going on,” Miller said.

He said the weather was favorable. The crew flew the helicopter over the Kenai Mountains to the site.

“The really positive thing is the first responders that got there to help out before we arrived were able to provide us a really accurate and great coordinate and a really good description of what the people looked like on the ground,” Miller said. “Sometimes, from an aerial search, it’s pretty difficult to see people, especially if they’re in the trees. But they got to a nice open area, gave us a good description. We were able to find then almost immediately.”

The crew used a hoist to bring the cyclist on board and got them to Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage around 9:30 p.m.

Last week, a crew from the Alaska Air National Guard rescued two hikers on Resurrection Pass near Cooper Landing after they said they couldn’t make it through snow and water there.

Miller said the National Guard, like the fire crews nearby, are typically on standby during busy spring and summer weekends to help out in anticipation of higher levels of risky recreation.

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