Multi-Agency Response to Injured Hiker in Sycamore Fall

Flagstaff, AZ- On June 25, 2015 at 12:00 pm Coconino County Sheriff’s Office Deputies and Coconino County Search and Rescue personnel responded to the report of a rappelling accident at Sycamore Falls. According to the reporting party a 56 year old male had been struck by a falling rock and was at the bottom of the canyon. Due to the remote location, treacherous terrain and the unknown extent of injuries assistance was requested from Arizona Department of Public Safety Air Rescue who responded from Kingman, AZ, Ponderosa Fire District, and Lifeline Ambulance.

Once on scene a search and rescue team member rappelled to the patient’s location and conducted an assessment. It was determined that the patient suffered isolated injuries to his left knee and foot however he did not have any serious or life threatening injuries. At that point it was determined that a helicopter rescue was not necessary and a ground based rope rescue system was constructed to raise the patient and a rescuer to the top of the cliff so he could be transported by ambulance personnel to the Flagstaff Medical Level One Trauma Center.

This incident was an unfortunate accident however the victim was wearing the appropriate safety equipment. It is important for all outdoor recreationists to tell someone where they are going, carry the “Ten Essentials”, and use the appropriate personal protective equipment for the activities they are engaged in.

Ten Essentials

1.      Water

2.      Food

3.      Extra warm clothing

4.      Navigation equipment (map, compass, GPS)

5.      Headlamp/Flashlight

6.      First Aid Kit

7.      Shelter Material (space blanket or large leaf bag)

8.      Fire Starting Kit (use extreme caution in the dry summer months)

9.      Pocket Knife or Multi-Tool

10.     Whistle/Signal Mirror