Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks (CA)
Three Short-Haul Rescues
Park staff conducted three short-haul rescues over the past two weeks:
· July 22 Yosemites Helicopter 551, with pilot Gary Spidell and spotter Jeff Pirog on board, short-hauled park medic Debbie Brenchley and a 69-year-old visitor with a broken leg from a 14,120-foot notch in the northern park of Kings Canyon.
· July 26 Sequoia/Kings Canyons Helicopter 552, with pilot Kent Pierce and spotter Carrie Vernon, short-hauled EMT John Ziegler and a teenage girl with a back injury from the the far side of the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River in the foothills near Potwisha.
· August 3 Park medic Dave Walton and EMT Fred Mason were short-hauled by Helicopter 552 to a remote river location, again on the Middle Fork of the Kaweah, to rescue two teenage boys who spent the night stuck on a mid-stream rock bar.
These three incidents bring to four the number of short-haul rescues since the parks began the program this past June. Short-haul techniques place fewer people into dangerous terrain, provide definitive care more quickly to patients, and minimize disruptions to other park operations.
[Submitted by Pat Grediagin, Sequoia District Ranger]