Friday, October 21, 2011

Ropes team swings into action

Elk hunter rescued from Little Wood

Express Staff Writer

The Wood River Fire & Rescue technical rescue team leapt into action Wednesday afternoon to rescue a hunter with a broken femur in the Little Wood drainage.

Wood River Fire & Rescue Chief Bart Lassman said Thursday that the team was called out after an Air St. Luke's helicopter could not find a suitable place to land.

The victim, a 65-year-old male, was trapped with a broken femur 75 yards below the top of a ridge in a ravine near Elk Mountain, 10 miles northeast of Carey.

"At the onset of this, it sounded as though the air ambulance was going to be able to set down and retrieve the patient," Lassman said. "But the helicopter was not in a safe location where they could extract the patient."

The only suitable landing site was 300 feet from the patient and uphill, requiring two rescue technicians from Wood River to climb down and assist a St. Luke's crew with transporting the patient up the slope to the ridge.

"We got lucky and sent two of our best people," Lassman said.

The man has been elk hunting with a local outfitter for several days. He had been kicked by his horse three days prior, Lassman said, but did not realize the extent of his injuries and continued hunting.

He said the femur snapped under stress while the man was scaling a hillside.

"He just collapsed," he said.

Lassman said the rescue took six hours. He said the victim was transported by helicopter to Twin Falls.

Neither the man's identity or place of residence was available by press deadline Thursday.

Katherine Wutz:

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