Samaritan Gives Rescue to Injured Hiker
Posted on February 7, 2023 by Anonymous
Finding Injured Hiker
Just prior to me arriving to the exit track of the Fortress Canyon (which, according to NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, is “For fit and experienced canyoners only, Fortress Canyon is challenging…”) “you should really carry a emergency locator beacon”.. A young female in her mid 20’s shattered her knee when she slipped at the infinity pools at the top of the waterfall.
When I arrived in this part of the canyon, there were three parties already there with the girl, and they explained what had happened to her. None of them had any first aid or emergency equipment for a situation like this.
I fortunately had my emergency locator beacon (A PLB 400), which I activated, a foil blanket, and jelly beans. All of which helped the patient feel a bit better.
Contacting Emergency Services
I then walked up the Ridge Line and called emergency services to provide more detailed information; and stayed on the Ridge for over an hour communicating with emergency services on the phone.
The operator finally spoke into the receiver, “Ok, the ground teams are coming down the fire trail now and air support in also on the way. Please go back down to the victim and update.”
“ANOTHER DAY AT THE OFFICE: Here’s a birds eye view of our specialist Toll Ambulance Rescue crews winching down to rescue a woman in the Blue Mountains National Park on Sunday after she slipped on rocks and shattered her knee cap. NSW Police Rescue and our Special Operations paramedics hiked in to locate her before the helicopter arrived. Fellow hiker Letilda and her boyfriend activated their emergency beacon and stayed with the woman until rescuers arrived. Thanks for the video, Letilda.”
Around 2 hours after activating the emergency locator beacon, air support arrived, and as I was leaving the canyon I passed by the ground crew going in. The officer asked to see my beacon and switched it off.
At the same time this is all occurring, my dad was receiving the call from Canberra stating that my beacon had been activated and he went down to Katoomba Police Station where he was updated by the officers of my communication with the 000 operators.
Words of wisdom
My advice around safety would be to ensure everyone takes all the necessary items including PLBS, Safety Blankets, Food, Water, and Appropriate Clothing with them as the environment and situations can change quickly and when you least expect it. Ensure that you are self sufficient and have the ability to help others and work as a team if an incident arises; even if it’s a small hike on a blue sky day.
Thank you note
A big thank you to:
- The 000 operators who took my call and were patient with me as my phone lost reception several times
- The operator who asked if I was okay and had enough supplies whilst I was above the canyon making the calls
- My girlfriend Letilda for putting my safety kit into my backpack as we set off on the trail
- TOLL Ambulance, special operations police, and the paramedics that attended to the hiker
- My parents and the officers at the Katoomba Police Stations who were there in the background making sure me and Letilda were safe
Fortress Canyon, Blue Mountains
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