On May 29, two-dozen area first responders participated in a successful rescue of a hiker who became injured on the Bunting Trail just outside of Kanab. The hiker had fallen down a 20-foot section of cliff, but was able to use a cell phone to call 911 for help. Rescuers quickly located the injured hiker and then moved him down the hillside. 

Transport involved loading the patient into a stokes litter that was muscled up the trail, the use of a rope belay system to lower the litter down a cliff section of the mountain, and then hand carrying the patient over steep and rocky terrain to the makeshift command post. From there, the patient was taken by ATV to a waiting ambulance.

Participating in the incident were members of Kane County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue (KCSAR), Kane County EMTs, Kanab City Fire Department, Kanab City Police, and the Bureau of Land Management Kanab Field Office. Many of the responders belong to more than one of these organizations.

“This was a good operation from start to finish, with excellent teamwork and communication,“ said Kanab Fire Chief Joe Decker, who served as incident commander. Decker added that this incident shows just how well these various organizations work together.

KCSAR Commander Alan Alldredge also thanked the responders for being there and being prepared. This incident involved many of the skills, such as packaging and transporting patients, rope rescue, and tracking techniques that emergency responders practiced this winter in preparation for potential incidents like this one.

With the summer season already here, be sure to carry plenty of water and supplies when outdoors. It is best not to hike alone, but if you do, be sure to let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back. As this incident shows, a cell phone is important and may even save your life, but cell signals aren‘t always available. If you hike alone or in remote areas, consider buying a SPOT tracker, satellite phone or similar device, so you can call for help in an emergency.