Grand Canyon National Park (AZ)
Park dispatch received a satellite telephone call from a private river party with a medical emergency at Kwagunt Rapids just after 8 p.m. on the evening of January 5th.
A 54-year-old member of the group who’d been missing for about 15 minutes had been found face down in the river and in respiratory distress. He was evidently the victim of a seizure.
Other members of the group began rescue breathing and resuscitated him. Following a risk assessment, park personnel had an Arizona DPS Air Rescue helicopter respond to the scene with the aid of night vision goggles. The man lost consciousness while rescuers were en route, but had regained it, albeit with an altered mental status, when they arrived. He was stabilized at the scene and flown to Flagstaff Medical Center. Although helicopter evacuations occur on a regular basis at Grand Canyon, a night helicopter evacuation is a very rare event.