Sunday afternoon found Prescott firefighters facilitating the recovery of a woman in her 70’s from the Salida Gulch trail near Lynx Lake. Around 3:30pm dispatchers received a call stating that a woman with a hiking group had suffered a possible broken ankle on the trail and was unable to walk out. Three Prescott Fire engines, the Technical Rescue Support vehicle, the department’s 6x6 Polaris Ranger, a Central Arizona Fire Battalion Chief, and the Yavapai County Backcountry Team were all dispatched to the scene.
One engine company began hiking immediately to help stabilize and treat the patient while the remaining crews tried to determine the best way to retrieve the patient. Ultimately, the only way to get to the patient was to hike in two miles on foot with a Stokes basket. The crews were able to load the patient on the Stokes and bring her out without any further incident. Upon returning to the trailhead, the patient was transferred to a Lifeline ambulance for transport to Yavapai Regional Medical Center for further evaluation and treatment.
Prescott Fire would like to acknowledge the efforts of several folks who assisted with this event. One member of the hiking group was willing to guide firefighters from the trailhead back up to the patient’s location, effectively making the hike a second time.
Additionally, members of the Backcountry Team are volunteers and they provided many helping hands bringing the patient back out. The rescue took almost three hours to complete.