Petty Officer 2nd Class Christine Parham, a health services technician at Air Station Kodiak, Alaska, is one of the few paramedics in the Coast Guard. After joining in 2013 and training in Cape May, New Jersey, Parham begged to come to Kodiak to be an Aviation Mission Specialist. U.S. Coast Guard video by Petty Officer 2nd Class Meredith Manning and Petty Officer 2nd Class Lauren Steenson

Coast Guard flight paramedic provides higher level of care in Alaska

Wearing a bright orange drysuit and large blue helmet while carrying gear that looks to weigh twice as much as she does, a small-framed, 5-foot coastguardsman rushes to the waiting helicopter. She throws her gear in and takes her seat amongst the rest of the crew. Though not in her job description, she prepares to take flight on a search and rescue case in the last frontier.


The Sector Anchorage command center coordinates, directs and monitors operations extending throughout Western Alaska, The North Slope, and the Aleutian Islands through Prince William Sound.

Lifesaving advantages of digital selective calling

It’s as simple as pressing a button. And if an emergency occurs, that might be all you have time for. The distance between someone in distress and their rescuers can be vast in Alaska. They could be hours away. A boater equipped with digital selective calling (DSC) distress signal capabilities just might possess one of the tools that could save their life.


Unit Spotlight: Station Valdez

Tucked into the Chugach Mountains, Valdez is the northernmost ice-free port in North America, but the Station’s stalwart crew still endures an average yearly snowfall of 326 inches per year to conduct Coast Guard operations.


Saving lives across generations

The water was a balmy 80 degrees and calm. A wave rippled across its surface as a small, orange boat sank to the waterline. The four people aboard quickly exited the boat into the water. A voice overhead was instructing them to “conserve energy and float nearby.”


Shipmate of the Week: Petty Officer 2nd Class Hali Lombardi

Petty Officer 2nd Class Hali Lombardi, a boatswain’s mate at Coast Guard Station Valdez, Alaska, passed her crew member check ride on the station’s 45-foot Response Boat-Medium earlier this week. Although she reported to Alaska only two months ago, this is […]


Petty Officer 2nd Class Jacob Warner, a rescue swimmer at Air Station Kodiak, performs an ice rescue during training at Upper 6 Mile Lake on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, March 17, 2016. During the training, members from Air Station Kodiak, Sector Anchorage and the National Ice Rescue School in Essexville, Michigan, worked together to perform ice rescues from an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Meredith Manning

Coast Guard rescuers train on thin ice

While ice rescue training is not unfamiliar to Coast Guard members in cold climates like Alaska, incorporating air rescue added a new element for these crews. Members from Air Station Kodiak, Sector Anchorage and the National Ice Rescue School in Essexville, Michigan, teamed up to perform ice rescues from an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter at Upper 6 Mile Lake on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. For the participating members it was an experience that brought new elements into their normal training evolutions.


The Last Frontier: First Rescue Flight

On July 17, 2015, Petty Officer 3rd Class Jeremy Reed, an avionics electrical technician at Air Station Sitka, embarked on his first search and rescue case since joining the Coast Guard in September of 2008. At around 2 pm, Air Station Sitka was notified of a plane crash in the vicinity of Point Couverden, north of Sitka—Flight 202.


Flying into the future

It’s pivotal that a rescue crew, whether on the water or in the sky, has the full use of their wits and physical power when it matters most. Utilizing an unmanned system that could potentially spot survivors or wreckage from high in the sky could reduce the time rescue crews spend searching, and ultimately reduce the time that victims spend at the mercy of the elements.


The Coast Guard Cutter Healy breaks through ice in the Arctic circle, July 14, 2015. This image was taken by an Aerostat, a self-contained, compact platform that can deploy multiple sensor payloads and other devices into the air. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

Arctic research underway aboard CGC Healy

Science is officially in full swing aboard the CGC Healy and research operations are now underway. Personnel from the Coast Guard Research and Development Center are aboard the Healy again this summer to test and evaluate technologies for Coast Guard use in the Arctic. This year, the focus of the research is on a significant Coast Guard mission: search and rescue.


Boom deployed by Coast Guard Cutter Sycamore floats near the New St. Joseph, an 83-foot fishing tender, in Cordova, Alaska, May 30, 2015. The boom was deployed to contain oily-water after the crewmembers dewatered the vessel. U.S. Coast Guard photo

Always ready at port or sea

The 83-foot fishing tender New St. Joseph sat moored at the Cordova, Alaska, Harbor. The hull rested low in the water, the railing even with the dock. A crewmember who went to check on the vessel reported to Coast Guard Sector Anchorage watchstanders that the vessel was taking on water.

Watchstanders aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Sycamore, a 225-foot Seagoing buoy tender homeported in Cordova, also overheard the radio calls and responded with a dewatering pump.


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