The Idaho National Guard was called into action to help rescue a man trapped by the recent flooding.

  An Idaho Army National Guard Blackhawk helicopter mobilized Friday to help a stranded 68-year-old male in Washington County, whose home had become surrounded by area flood waters.

The victim, who was believed to be in poor health, was inside the flooded home when crews arrived.

The helicopter crew departed Gowen Field at approximately 1:45 p.m. and flew directly to the Weiser Municipal Airport.  At approximately 2:15, the helicopter touched down and its crew chief met with the incident commander for a briefing on the situation. It was determined the helicopter’s hoist would need to be utilized in order to pull the victim from the water.

Three members of the Boise Fire Department Water Rescue Unit boarded the helicopter to guide the pilots to the rescue site.  At approximately 2:30 p.m., the water rescue unit was lowered into the freezing, chest-deep water to begin their trek toward the flooded house.

Once inside, the rescue crew assisted the victim outside and positioned him so the hoist deployer was able to lift the victim from the icy cold waters and into the helicopter.

 Due to concern for the victim’s health, he was immediately transported to safety while the water rescue unit remained at the house.  At approximately 2:45 p.m., the victim was delivered to the Weiser Airport where paramedics were standing by to receive him.  Moments later the helicopter crew returned to retrieve the water rescue unit, and delivered them back to the incident command site.  The aircraft then safely returned to Gowen Field.

“Today’s operation went well but we’re currently in a standby status with crew and equipment,” Chief Warrant Officer Mart Holdaway said, the pilot who assisted in the operation.  “In the event local responders request assistance again, we are ready to go.”

The Idaho National Guard was activated through the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center after receiving a request for assistance from the Washington County Sheriff’s Department.

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