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Sheriff's Office

PCSO Helicopter Airlifts Injured Hiker to Safety
Posted: 2/6/2013 12:00 AM
On Thursday, January 31st, 2013 the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office received a call related to a 64 year-old female who had broken her right ankle while hiking near Freemont Saddle in the Superstition Mountains. The female was with other members of her hiking club at the time.

The caller stated the female was in extreme pain and not able to hike to safety due to the rough terrain and the extent of her injury.

The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office sent members of our Search and Rescue team and Posse to find the injured hiker. Once found, they carried her 200 feet to the top of the mountain in a stokes basket. The basket was then loaded into the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office helicopter. She was airlifted to the bottom of the mountain and transported to a local hospital.

The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office – Aviation Unit began January of 2012. During their first year, the Aviation Unit had a total of 681 flight hours. Below are the statistics for the first year of operation.

Patrol Assists 62
Narcotic Task Force Assists 5
Other Agency Assists 38
Criminal Investigation Bureau Assists 4
Anti Smuggling Unit Assists 4
Traffic Unit Assists 4
Search and Rescue Missions 22
Pursuits 23
West Desert Task Force Assists 62
Silverbell Initiative Assists 8
SWAT Assists 6
Recovered Stolen Vehicles 16
Apprehensions 67 suspects
Seizures 4
Marijuana Interdiction 14,801 pounds
Scout Sites Discovered 7

Sheriff Paul Babeu stated, “Our Aviation Unit has been in existence now for one year. During that year, they have had an extremely positive impact on public safety not only for our members but for our visitors and citizens throughout Pinal County. Once they arrive on scene, they serve as a force multiplier. Now when suspects run, they don’t get away but rather just go to jail tired.
Public Information Officer

Jim Knupp

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