‚ÄčMercy Air is based at Big Bear Airport

 Slide Peak in Running Springs 

Scene of Hoist Rescue


The San Bernardino County Sheriff Aviation Unit was deployed Thursday, July 30th at 8:00 P.M. when they received a call from the Running Springs Fire Paramedics for a hoist rescue. 31-year old Amanda Ray had been hiking along a dam in the area of San Bernardino Mountains, near Running Springs named the Slide Peak near a lake when she fell down approximately 30 feet. Ray received non-life-threatening injuries but was unable to walk and was stuck in a steep terrain. Running Springs Fire Paramedics were able to hike to Ray and determined a hoist rescue would be needed due to the steep rocky terrain.
San Bernardino County Sheriff 40King-5 Helicopter Crew responded to the location and evaluated the scene. The Flight Crew agreed that a hoist was needed to safely get Ray out of the area. The Rescuers picked up a tactical Flight Officer Deputy to assist in the hoist rescue.

The 40King-5 Crew returned to the scene and hoisted the Deputy along with a rescue litter to the victim. The hoist was approximately 145 feet in length. Once on the ground with the victim, the Deputy was assisted by the paramedics in securing Ray into the rescue litter.

Amanda Ray was hoisted to the helicopter and flown to the parking lot of Snow Valley.  There the patient was transferred to Mercy Air Airship and flown to a local hospital. 40King-5 returned and hoisted the Deputy back into the helicopter. Due to the time of night and mountainous terrain the 40King-5 Crew used night vision goggles to perform the hoist.  

Along with the Running Springs Fire Crew, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Aviation Unit included: 40King-5 Pilot Corporal Ryan Peppler, Hoist Operator Deputy Jake Hernandez, and Hoist rider Deputy Gregory Hanrahan. The Thursday night successful rescue happened to be Corporal Peppler and Deputy Hernandez’ second hoist this week. The past several months there have been several air rescue incidents in the mountains. Residents as well as visitors are fortunate to have such a well-trained Rescue Team with the San Bernardino County Sheriff Department.