Coast Guard helicopter crew awarded Citizen’s Service Medal

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi helicopter crew from was recognized Feb. 25, 2017, in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, for a rescue performed while to responding to Hurricane Matthew in October of last year.

The crew of MH-65 Dolphin helicopter 6554 was deployed to Savannah, Georgia when they were launched on Oct. 8, 2016, to respond to a patient with a serious medical emergency in Bluffton, South Carolina.

The patient required a higher level of care, but since all the roads to the aid station were blocked by flooding and downed obstacles, ambulance transport was not possible. All civilian helicopter EMS units had also been evacuated.

The crew flew through tropical storm force winds to make a challenging landing in a parking lot. The patient was loaded onto the helicopter and transported to Savannah Memorial Hospital, where he received additional care and was released several days later.

Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue held a ceremony where the helicopter crew was presented with the Citizen’s Service Medal for adhering to the values of courage, commitment and compassion.

“It was an honor for our crew to be part of this special event and to be recognized for their actions,” said Cmdr. Marcus Canady, air operations officer at Air Station Corpus Christi. “Our helicopter crew was there for a short time period following the storm, but this is home to the men and women of the Hilton Head Fire Rescue; their heroic actions for the local community are endless and their actions were instrumental to the collective success during Hurricane Matthew.”

The crew of Coast Guard helicopter 6554 consisted of Lt. Thomas Mulder, Lt. Peter Schofield, Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Davis and Petty Officer 3rd Class Graham Smith.

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