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Injured Hiker In Ouachita National Forest Saved By Arkansas National Guard

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - The Arkansas National Guard was called to duty Sunday. A flight crew saves an injured hiker stranded in the middle of the Ouachita National Forest between Mena and Mt. Ida. 

She was an hours long hike from the nearest road. That's when a Black Hawk crew swooped in to rescue her. 

Billy Bob Ursery stands in front of a Black Hawk helicopter at Camp Robinson in North Little Rock. The Arkansas National Guard flight instructor says what he did Sunday is why he joined the guard.

"We get excited about helping out our fellow Arkansans," Ursery said. 

A flight crew was alerted by the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management that a hiker was stranded in the middle of the Ouachita National Forest. She had a broken leg and was unable to get out. 

"It took the ground crew about three hours to hike in from the nearest road. It was very difficult and very rugged terrain," Ursery said. 

When weather conditions cleared, the crew of five guardsmen flew in to save her. 

"We knew there was no spot for us to land the helicopter so that's why we had the rescue hoist and we were able to lower our flight paramedic down on the ground," Ursery said. 

In a picture, it shows the hiker after being brought back up to the helicopter and being tended to by the Guardsmen. Their mission of helping another Arkansan in need, complete. 

"This is what we train for. This is our backyard. This is why all of us joined the National Guard, to be there for the citizens of Arkansas. We're always ready for this,"  Ursery said. 

They dropped the hiker off in Hot Springs where she was taken to a hospital. 

Arkansas Game and Fish also helped out in the operation.


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