Coconino County, AZ – The caller stated that a 22-year-old female climber had fallen, was injured, and was in need of rescue. The Sheriff’s Office coordinated the response which included responders from the Sheriff’s Office, the Coconino Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Unit, Williams Fire Department, Lifeline Ambulance, Arizona Department of Public Safety Northern Air Rescue, and the US Forest Service.
Search and Rescue arrived at the scene at approximately 1:15pm and established a technical rope system to lower a rescuer over the edge to evaluate the patient and prepare for a rope rescue. The patient was in the bottom of Sycamore Canyon approximately 80 feet below the rim of the canyon. Due to the nature of the injury and complexity of the environment, it was determined that a short haul rescue involving the DPS Air Rescue helicopter would be the best option for the patient. A search and rescue coordinator who is a member of the Northern Arizona Interagency Heli-Rescue Team rappelled to the patient and assisted the first search and rescue member on scene with splinting the injury and preparing the patient for extrication. At 4:25pm the patient and heli-rescue technician were short-hauled out of the canyon suspended below the helicopter to a landing zone a short distance away where an ambulance was waiting to transport the patient to the hospital. The patient was transported to Flagstaff Medical Center where she was admitted for treatment of her injuries.
The fall victim was from the Apache Junction area and was climbing with another person. She appeared to have sustained a serious leg injury.
The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank all of the public safety organizations that responded to this incident as well as the other climbers in the area who volunteered to assist with care for the injured climber while we were responding.