Early Tuesday morning, February 7, rescuers aboard HGH AirOne were successful
at finding an accident victim during early morning search and rescue efforts.
And it was a good thing, according to HGH EMS Rescue Pat Songer. The man,
whose name has not been released, was pinned under the Utility Task Vehicle
(UTV) he had been driving in the Eugene Mountains for more than 12 hours
when rescuers found him.
The Eugene Mountains sit just north of Interstate 80 between Lovelock and
The man’s friend and fellow accident victim was able to walk out
from the remote canyon area and alert the Pershing County Deputies Office.
Pershing County crews began search and rescue efforts around midnight Monday.
Air turbulence and weather issues hindered the efforts; by early Tuesday,
officials determined the man was likely in Humboldt County, at which time
Humboldt County Search and Rescue took over.
According to HGH EMS Rescue Chief Pat Songer, the hospital’s air
ambulance, HGH AirOne, joined the search early on with pilot Cody Hamann,
Songer and Paramedic Andrew Stephen.
Songer said the three were in the air combing local canyons for about an
hour before heading back to refuel. On their second attempt—and
literally as they were preparing to head back to base again—Songer
said he looked left and saw “something strange.”
Songer asked the pilot to take a closer look and there was the injured
man on the side of a very steep hill.
What’s more, the three saw something that Songer said made their
hearts leap for joy: a hand waving.
Hamann found a safe place to land and the two medics began the trek up
the mountain only to find the man was, as Songer said, “trapped
tough; we couldn’t get him out.”
So Stephen stayed behind with the injured man while Songer and Hamann headed
back to retrieve EMS's battery-powered “jaws of life.”
Back on scene, the men were able to cut the victim out of the UTV wreckage.
“It was just a fluke,” said Songer of finding the man. “I'm
pretty sure we flew beside that canyon before but everything blends in.
If I hadn't looked to the left, I'm not sure how anyone would
have found him.”
Songer expressed his gratitude for EMS’s resources. “With our
helicopter, we could be in the air within minutes,” he said, “and
without those battery-powered jaws, he wouldn’t be off that mountain.”
Songer also expressed gratitude to the Humboldt County Search and Rescue,
Pershing County Sheriff's Office, Humboldt County Sheriff’s
Office and even the “brave friend” who walked miles to find help.
“We're so lucky that everything turned out well,” he said.
“We feel very blessed.”