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Marin Fire, Sonoma Helicopter Crews Rescue Injured Hiker

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A Sonoma County Sheriff's Helicopter (sonomasheriff.org)

A Sonoma County Sheriff’s Helicopter (sonomasheriff.org)

(CBS SF) — Marin County and Ross Valley firefighters and a Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office helicopter crew rescued a hiker who fell down a steep slope at Alpine Lake in Marin County on Sunday afternoon, a sheriff’s deputy said Monday.

The 64-year-old man was hiking on the Cataract Trail near the lake about 5 miles west of Fairfax when he fell 40 feet down a steep, rocky slope, Sonoma County sheriff’s Deputy Chris Mahoney said.

The Henry-1 helicopter crew was asked to respond at 3:50 p.m. to the trail, which lacks vehicle access, Mahoney said.

After a 17-minute flight from Santa Rosa to the lake, the helicopter crew located the hiker with help from a Marin County fire dispatcher who remained in cellphone contact with a bystander, Mahoney said.

The injured hiker was concealed by dense trees. Ground units from the two fire departments hiked up the steep trail and arrived at about the same time as the helicopter, Mahoney said.

Pilot Paul Bradley landed the helicopter on a ridge above the trail and paramedic Scott Freedman and Mahoney attached a 200-foot long line
for the rescue.

Bradley then flew Freedman and Mahoney to a clearing near the injured hiker and the fire crews, according to the sheriff’s office.

Freedman assessed the hiker’s injuries and the hiker was placed in a spinal injury precaution device for transport, Mahoney said.

The fire crews carried the hiker 15 yards away from the steep, rocky creek bed to a clearing in the trees and Bradley lowered the 200-foot long line, Mahoney said.

Bradley then picked up the hiker and flew him to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital for treatment, Mahoney said.

© Copyright 2014 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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