Last week, Search and Rescue out of Rossland and South Columbia responded to a call out near Record Ridge.
On July 25, a group of 11 ladies from Rossland had been hiking on the south end of the Seven Summits trail, when one fell and broke an ankle.
“They all went in from the Cascade Summit and had headed north on the trail and as they headed back, one of the ladies slipped on a rock and twisted her ankle, we thought at the time,” explained Graham Jones, Rossland Search and Rescue (SAR) director. “They managed to make a cell phone call out and get help started.”
They received the call around 2:45 p.m.
Between Rossland SAR and South Columbia SAR, a group of five rescuers could come out on the short notice.
The team drove the response vehicle up to the cascade summit where some of the woman’s friends were waiting, others stayed with her.
“We were able to get our response vehicle up the old logging road, which probably hasn’t had a vehicle on it in a long, long time,” he said. “We had to chainsaw a tree out of the way, luckily we had a chainsaw with us, so we could get to the trailhead of the Record Ridge Trail.”
From there she was only 15 minutes away by foot and they were able to send in their medical officer in.
Jones said one of the hikers was a member of Rossland SAR and had wilderness first aid, so she could help make the injured woman more comfortable.
They wheeled her out with a outdoor stretcher.
Jones said she was in a lot of pain, and assessed it as probably a very bad sprain.
One the way in, the weather was especially bad, with torrential rain falling. luckily it cleared as they made their way out..
“We got her stabilized and on the stretcher, and got her back to the response vehicle,” he said. From there they took her to the Cascade Summit where the ambulance that was called in was waiting.
“We transferred her to the ambulance at about 7 p.m. that evening,” he said. “Then she was taken to the hospital and it turned out that she had two broken bones. One minor, one a little bit more major in her ankle or foot.”
Jones said the rescue went well and could always be worse, as he’s seen. Cell reception is also spotty in that area.
Jones wanted to add that the South Columbia SAR played a huge part last week, with four of the five team members on the rescue coming from there. Jones was the member representing Rossland.
“We do a lot of mutual aid with South Columbia, and in those kind of searches where we require a certain number of personnel or anything like that,” he said, noting the proximity. “It doesn’t take them long to get there once they mobilize.”
When asked if they Rossland Search and Rescue needs more people, Jones said “always.”
“We’re always looking,” he said. “We can never have enough people.”
He said that can be people who bring new skills to the group or just just extra hands.
“If you have a long search you might have to get fresh troops in after you’ve had people out in the field for long night or day searches. We can never have enough and there are always jobs, whether they are skilled already or who need to do the provincial ground search and rescue course.”
From there people can branch off into first aid, rope rescue, swiftwater or other specialties.
If interested, contact Jones at 362-9966 or Dave Braithwaite, president of Rossland SAR, at 362-9082.