Saturday, August 17, 2013

AF Special Tactics PJs Rescue Alabama Teen

special tactics pararescuemen On August 8th, SSgt Matthew Macella and SSgt Chris Johnston, both special tactics pararescuemen instructors with the 24th Special Operations Wing, Hurlbert Field FL, were at a park, scouting the area for training purposes in the Cherokee Rock mountain range, in Sand Rock, Alabama.

"I heard a loud sliding noise, a scream and a thud about 100 meters away," stated Macella.

An 18 year old Alabama teenager had been rock climbing with his girlfriend when he slid 30 feet down a steep rock face into a crevice.

Natural instincts stepped in as Macella and Johnston quickly began to call out to the teen to try and identify his location.  They found him, still dangling and trapped approximately 8 feet above the ground.

Macella carefully navigated the climb, going through small crevices to reach the teen.  Once upon him, his medical condition was assessed and determined he was stable to move; Macella and Johnston extracted him through a 2 x 2 hole at the bottom of the crevice.  From there, they guided the teen up a 60 feet mountain face where their military vehicle awaited them and further medical treatment was given to his multiple lacerations and abrasions.  The teens girlfriend took him to the local emergency room for further evaluations.

Without the quick thinking and training that Macella and Johnston have, this teen could have been trapped for an extended period of time, thus making his injuries more severe.

AF Special Tactics Pararescuemen are mostly known for what they do within combat environments.  However, domestic situations arise on a daily basis, and they are called upon.  Their training allows them to get into restricted environments, land or sea, to extract, treat, stabilize and evacuate injured personnel, foreign or domestic.

For more information or if you are interested in what it takes to be a PJ visit: