Life Flight medic awarded for rescuing man from cave - WSMV Channel 4

Life Flight medic awarded for rescuing man from cave

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Whether on the battlefield or in a rural part of Tennessee, the men and women who work in medical helicopters save lives, and one man has made it look easy.

Maj. Keith Evans, of the Tennessee Air National Guard, is cautious yet meticulous. He learned those skills while saving lives on deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

He also uses the experience at Vanderbilt University Medical Center while aboard Life Flight. Recently, Evans and rescue teams from Maury County were honored for their outstanding work with the Tennessee Emergency Medical Services for Children Star of Life Award.

"We were the overall state winner for being able to successfully rescue an individual who was having stroke-like symptoms while he was 1,000 feet down into a cave," Evans said.

Darrell Smith was trapped for hours in the Southport Saltpeter Cave last fall, but he is now walking again thanks to the quick thinking of Evans, and the other responders.

But every single time he's called out, Evans knows he is the critical link between the scene and the hospital.

"I don't know that we are all adrenaline junkies. We are all Type-A personalities. I think we do it because this is what we love to do. We want to take care of people and see them do well," Evans said.

Evans is currently an acute care nurse practitioner, but he has been a member of Vanderbilt's Life Flight team since 2006.

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