(Dubois, Wyo.) - On Monday, July 25th Governor Matt Mead activated the National Guard to assist with the Lava Mountain Fire west of Dubois. The team arrived on Tuesday and we caught up with them yesterday at the Dubois Airport.
The National Guard team includes a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter and crew to be on standby for possible medevac support. The team includes Flight Medic Greg Leffler, Crew Chief Nevada Popp, Pilot Michael Parkins, and Pilot in Command Justin Study.
This Black Hawk helicopter includes an external rescue hoist which allows for a more streamlined rescue. Flight Medic Greg Leffler has personally performed four rescues in the two years he's been in the National Guard. "The external hoist allows the crew chief to steer and navigate the aircraft while dropping someone down onto the ground," he explained. "Once we get on the ground I can send people back up on that hoist." Listen to Leffler explain more about the hoist below:
"You definitely get an adrenaline rush, but then all of the hours of training kick in you go into rescue mode, " Leffler told County 10. "The biggest reward of this job is to help people I care about. This my way of giving back and supporting Wyoming." Leffler has lived in Cheyenne for much of his adult life. He's served in Kuwait and hopes to be deployed overseas again soon.
The team says they'll be on the Lava Mountain Fire for the next 10 days, switching crews around day 5. "We're hoping not to get called out but we're completely ready if we're needed," said Laffler.
All the necessary medical equipment is ready should medevac support be needed.
The UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter at the Dubois Airport
Watch the Black Hawk arrive at the Dubois Airport:
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