A hiker at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area near Las Vegas had to be rescued Monday morning. The injured hiker fell a short distance and fractured his ankle. Luckily, the unidentified man was not alone. When the man’s hiking group discovered that he couldn’t walk, they knew they needed help. They called Las Vegas Fire & Rescue a little after 10 am.
initially, the rescue team didn’t think much of the operation. They assumed that they would just airlift the man out of the mountain and get him to the hospital. Las Vegas Fire Department spokesman Tim Szymanski spoke to “The Las Vegas Review-Journal” about the operation. “We initially weren’t too stressed, because his injuries weren’t life-threatening, but when the crews arrived, the snow was falling and it was a complete white-out.” This changed things for the rescue team. At this point, they knew they would have to retrieve the injured hiker on foot.
The conditions turned what would have been a quick mission into a nearly four-hour ordeal. When the rescue team arrived on the scene, the injured hiker’s companions directed them to their fallen partner. The team then had to hike up the 300-foot incline. Once reaching the man, the team treated his fractured ankle before getting him to safety.
A few more pics of incident: pic.twitter.com/NHK4jxGKRX— Las Vegas FireRescue (@LasVegasFD) January 26, 2021
Reaching the injured hiker and patching him up was the easy part of the operation. The team then had to bundle the man into a stretcher-like basket and start the arduous task of getting him down the mountain. To accomplish this, they attached ropes to both ends of the basket and used a pulley system.
It was a slow process but, in the end, they got the injured hiker back to safety. An ambulance transported him to the hospital.
The Injured Hiker Got Lucky
Despite his ordeal, the injured hiker was very fortunate. The rescue team was able to reach him and get him to safety quickly. If they were not so quick to get him out of there, the extreme conditions could have proved disastrous for the man.
While speaking to the Review-Journal, Tim Szymanski reminded hikers to prepare for the worst when hiking. “It’s so easy to slip and tweak your ankle like this, but if you end up needing a large-scale rescue like this one, and a storm picks up, you’re going to be stuck in that weather for hours while our crews work.”
Get out and enjoy the great outdoors but always remember to be safe and be prepared.