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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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For the week of February 20 - 26, 2002


Firefighters rescue
two girls from
Big Wood River


Express Staff Writer

Ketchum firefighters rescued two teenage girls from the Big Wood River on Friday night after they got stranded while snowshoeing.

According to Assistant Fire Chief Greg Schwab, the girls were walking along the west side of the river near River Ranch Road, south of Ketchum, when the advancing darkness prompted them to try to walk across the river. He said they climbed out on some midstream rocks when they found the water to be too deep.

Schwab said the girls’ parents, who live in a nearby house on River Ranch Road, began looking for them when they did not return home after dark. He said the parents called 911 at 6:43 p.m. after they went to search for them and heard them yelling from mid-river.

A group of 17 paid and volunteer firefighters, accompanied by three ambulances and a support vehicle, began arriving at the scene within eight minutes. Rescuers reached the girls from the west side of the river after tramping through the snow from the highway bridge north of St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center.

Schwab said rescuers donned drysuits and waded out to the girls’ perch. One of the girls, who by that time could not walk well, was carried on a litter back to the west side of the river. The other was carried manually to the east side.

Both girls and their parents, who were also wet and cold, were transported by ambulance to the nearby hospital, where they arrived at 7:53 and were treated for hypothermia.

The Blaine County Ambulance District charges $550 per ambulance trip and $30 per person per hour for technical rescues. Schwab said assessment of the fees is up to the county commissioners and all the money goes to the ambulance district.

Schwab said he did not have the names of the girls or their parents.


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