Pocahontas Rescue Is One This Medic Won’ t Soon Forget
Snowshoe, WV – It’s a rescue that WV National Guard Specialist Casey Dunfee, won’t soon forget. Dunfee was one of two medics air dropped in following the crash of a US Navy Helicopter on a Pocahontas County mountain in February.
The helicopter went down shortly after noon on February 18th. According to Jimmy Gianato, WV Director of Homeland Security, the May-day signal from the downed aircraft was picked up by a commercial airliner flying overhead. When the GPS coordinates were reported, they mistakenly placed the crash site south of Lewisburg. Sometime later a C130 airplane flying overhead was able to more accurately pinpoint the general area of the crash. Approximately five hours after the helicopter went down, Dunfee says he and another Guard medic were dropped in the area.
Dunfee says they had to trudge their way through waist to chest deep snow to reach the crash site. He says the crew members were in good spirits considering the conditions. Once at the site, Dunfee was able to relay his coordinates to the C130 aircraft that continued to circle over the area through the night providing communications.
Snowshoe Mountain Resort provided Snowcats to help retrieve the injured. Squads from Shavers Fork Fire and Rescue, Bartow, Frank and Durbin, and Cass all helped transport the military personnel to area medical facilities. Dunfee says this rescue was “off the chart”.