On Tuesday, July 15, 2014 from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., Emergency Service Units from Jackson, Macon, Swain and Transylvania Counties along with members of the North Carolina Helicopter and Aquatic Rescue Team, NCHART, will practice helicopter-based rescues in the area of the Lake Thorpe Dam and Spillway in Jackson County.
NCHART is a highly specialized team consisting of N.C. National Guard and N.C. State Highway Patrol air assets matched with N.C. Emergency Management and local Emergency Services personnel that form a mission-ready package for helicopter-based rescues.
Examples of NCHART missions include swift water rescue, lost persons, severe injuries and wilderness high angle rescues. NCHART trains on a monthly schedule. Partnership through NCHART has resulted in a number of successful mountain rescues, including this past December a stranded rock climber at Margarette Falls near the Tennessee-North Carolina border.
NCHART came to “Paradise Falls” area in the Canada Community of Tuckasegee in Jackson County in March, 2008 when a rock climber fell approximately 50 feet while climbing. Due to the remoteness of the area in which the subject was located, along with the dangerous terrain, low temperatures, time of day/night and the length of time it would take to extract the patient were the determining factors to bring NCHART to Jackson County.