Great Smoky Mountains National Park received emergency assistance from the North Carolina Department of Public Safety (NC DPS) and their Helo-Aquatic Rescue Team (NCHART) to rescue a sick hiker from the Appalachian Trail on Friday, April 22.
At approximately 10:28 a.m., the park’s Emergency Communications Center received notification that Michael Elmore, a 74 year old male hiker from Newville, AL, was experiencing severe chest pains while hiking the Appalachian Trail north from Fontana Lake. NCHART along with emergency responders from the National Park Service, Graham County EMS, Swain County Search and Rescue and the North Carolina Forest Service conducted a complex rescue operation by evacuating the injured hiker from his backcountry location. First responders performed a litter carry out down to a location where NCHART could hoist the patient to their helicopter. The patient was brought out to a landing zone and was transferred to the Mountain Area Medical Airlift (MAMA) who transported him to Mission Hospital in Asheville, NC for treatment.