El Dorado County, Calif. May 29, 2017 – On May 28, 2017 approximately 12:00 p.m., a boyfriend, girlfriend and their dog were on their way to a fun day of rock climbing of Luther Rock just south of South Lake Tahoe when tragedy struck.
As they neared the base of the rock to begin their climb, John (victim’s boyfriend) helped his dog up a ledge. For unknown reasons, the dog quickly turned around and started sliding toward the edge. Michele quickly pushed the dog toward John which caused her to lose her balance and fall backward. She began sliding down the steep terrain and grabbed a shrub. The shrub didn’t hold her and she tumbled approximately 30 feet down steep rocks injuring herself.
Luckily, John had his cell phone and immediately called 9-1-1 for help. El Dorado County Sheriff dispatch center received the call and began the rescue process. They called California Highway Patrol Helicopter 20 (H-20) who was in flight around the Folsom Lake area. They responded and arrived on scene a short time later and located the victims. Due to the steep terrain, they elected to insert two Lake Valley Fire personnel to access and package the patient for a hoist.
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The Fire personnel were lowered on the hoist and made contact with John and Michelle. They determined her injuries did not prevent her from being hoisted using a rescue seat. H-20 returned to the scene and hoisted her up to the helicopter. She was brought inside and flown to Barton Hospital in South Lake Tahoe for her injuries. John and his dog were fine and hiked out without incident.
Another example of a cell phone making the difference in an emergency. There are enough cell towers in the mountains that give a high probability that cell service with be available in case you need it. Always tell someone where you are going and when to expect you home.
Pilot: Officer Bryan Souza Flight Officer/Paramedic: Officer Matt Calcutt
Lake Valley Fire:
Captain Pevenage and Paramedic Engineer Jackson