Park rangers hiked to the man and administered aid, but the severity of his injury required more care. The United States Park Police Aviation Unit flew the hiker to a parking lot at the foot of the mountain where an ambulance was waiting.


The man is now at a hospital and is expected to recover.



Press release from the U.S. Department of the Interior:


On January 2, 2015 at about 1130 am Shenandoah National Park dispatch received a report of an Injured hiker who had fallen on the summit Old Rag Mountain.

NPS Rangers Eric Yount, David Smith, Jon Williams and Mike Hinchberger initiated a SAR response and hiked for about an hour with heavy rescue packs and gear before reaching the victim located at the summit of Old Rag Mountain at an elevation of about 4,000 feet.

Upon arrival the NPS Rangers established a SAR Incident Command with Ranger Eric Yount as IC. Yount recognized that the patient, a 33 year old male had suffered a serious compound fracture of his lower leg. The Rangers provided Basic Life Support care to the injured 33 year old man, and splinted his badly fractured leg.

I.C. Yount recognized that a litter carry out of the patient would take several hours and could compromise the circulation in the victims injured leg so he requested the assistance of the United States Park Police helicopter “Eagle 1”.

After stabilizing the victim, the Rangers carried the 200+ lbs. patient 40 to 50 yards to an area that was clear enough for a helicopter hoist rescue.

Eagle 1 responded to the scene and upon arrival quickly located the ground personnel. Pilot Ryan Evasick established an out of ground effect hover about 100 feet above the scene, 4,100 foot AGL, and the crew deployed a rescue basket and affected a hoist rescue of the victim. The victim was flown to the base of Old Rag Mountain where he was transferred to a waiting ambulance and removed to a local area hospital.

Rescues like these are a coordinated team effort between the Rangers and Staff of Shenandoah National Park and members of the United States Park Police Aviation Section. These two units of the National Park Service frequently train together to ensure that complicated rescues such as this one are conducted as safely as possible.