Agents with the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are often seen as having a job that is largely one-dimensional. Many outside the service believe that all they do is drive government trucks along the southern border looking for immigrants who try to cross over into the US illegally so they can arrest them and have them sent back to their native country. But CBP agents in Tucson, Arizona proved that there is far more to their job than people often think.
Over the weekend just after Christmas, US Border Patrol agents in conjunction with the Offices of Air and Marine engaged in the rescue operation of a man who was injured and became stranded near Sierra Vista. According to CBP officials, the rescue occurred near Sutherland Peak, which is approximately ten miles south of Tucson after a hiker lost his footing and slid down the side of a cliff at an elevation of roughly 7,000 feet.
Initially a Black Hawk aircrew was called in to make an attempt at the rescue but had to return to base because the nightfall had made it impossible to execute a safe rescue. Border Patrol agents made their way to the victim on foot and remained with him through the night until the Black Hawk crew was able to return at first daylight the following morning.
EMT workers arrived with the aircrew and provided medical treatment before he was airlifted to the chopper. He was subsequently flown to the Tucson Medical Center for further care. According to agents with the CBP, the man had sustained serious injuries but was fully conscious and remained calm throughout the entire ordeal. Upon his arrival at Tucson Medical he was in stable condition and is expected to make a full recovery thanks to the efforts of the OMA and the US Border Patrol.