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KD Talbot
08-30-2007, 10:40 PM
I'm not sure if there was any discussion on this forum about the recent rescue on Jefferson, I don't think there was. Here is the story as it appeared the next day.

CONCORD, N.H. - An injured hiker was airlifted off Mount Jefferson in New Hampshire's White Mountains this morning (Tuesday, August 28, 2007). Quentas Chess, age 53, of Mamaroneck, NY, had been hiking with three companions on the Jefferson Loop Trail when he was injured after tripping and falling face-first onto a rocky area.

The injury occurred at approximately 4 p.m. yesterday (August 27, 2007). The injured man's hiking party included his brother, a doctor, who was able to stabilize his condition and secure him in a tent while they attempted to call for help. At about 7 p.m. they notified the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department via cell phone that their injured companion was unable to walk down the mountain.

Rescuers set off at daylight today (August 28, 2007) to locate the hiking party. A team of two N.H. Fish and Game Conservation Officers - paramedic Brad Morse and first-responder Mark Ober - along with Mike Pelchat of the Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue team and N.H. State Parks, hiked out from the summit of Mount Washington. An Army National Guard helicopter was called in to assist with the evacuation.

At approximately 8:30 a.m., Chess was airlifted off the mountain by the Army National Guard helicopter. He was then transported by ambulance to Concord Hospital.

No further information is available at this time.

I recieved this update from buddy Mike Pelchat from the State Park. As you know, he's been involved in a rescue or three up there.

"The hiker who smacked his eye by falling face first without even outstretching a hand to help break the fall, looked a lot worse in person. He lost sight in that eye, maybe a detached retina too, hope he'll recover his sight, haven't heard yet. I may have to pull this clip if F&G thinks its not PC due to HEPA rules but its up for now."

Here is a link to the youtube film of the rescue:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4zopIY_q8s

Thanks Mike, AVSAR and NH Fish and Game, and especially NHANG who made this quick med flight off of Jefferson possible. This guy took a tumble. It had nothing to do with experience or conditions, it could have been any one of us!

KDT

Bill O
08-30-2007, 11:09 PM
Thanks for posting.

Wow, they landed a helicopter on Mount Jefferson.

More importantly I rediscovered Mike's videos. That power line project is slightly more destructive than I thought. I hope they do a good job cleaning up their mess.

Steve M
08-30-2007, 11:28 PM
Thanks for sharing this with us! We hear about SAR's all the time but that video brings it closer to home. It helps give a greater appreciation for those who are dedicated to risking there lives for the well being of others. Hopefully F&G won't pull this clip but that it will boost awareness of what they do as well as help boost funding.

Brad
08-31-2007, 05:40 AM
Thanks for posting. It helps remind us that those rocks are slippery and it is easy to catch a toe of your boot. I did that coming down Tucks for STP and went flying - into rocks. Cut my hand a bit - stopped the fall - but it took the wind out of me. After a few minutes I was able to stand and continued down.

Be Safe.

FisherCat
08-31-2007, 12:06 PM
That's great video KDT. thanks for the link!

Charlie
08-31-2007, 12:06 PM
thanks for sharing this it shows how much can be involved in a S A R operation and why you need to have things in your pack for the worst. like spending the night out side and first aid .

WEMT
09-01-2007, 10:19 PM
Thanks for the message - I know I'm "preaching to the choir" when I observe that A. There was a trained medical person in the group, and B. they managed to be or get to a place where there was cell coverage, and it was STILL the next day before "help arrived".

One of the most valuable lessons is the importance of being prepared, "I have a cell phone, so I don't need to carry x,y,z" doesn't work, is illustrated here.

(Yeah, I'm a Wilderness EMT)

Charlie
09-01-2007, 11:09 PM
do you think that the eye was not that bad ,thats why they staid the night .
if it was really bad would they make an attempt to get down or help to get to them ?

Bill O
09-01-2007, 11:13 PM
Thanks for the message - I know I'm "preaching to the choir" when I observe that A. There was a trained medical person in the group, and B. they managed to be or get to a place where there was cell coverage, and it was STILL the next day before "help arrived".

One of the most valuable lessons is the importance of being prepared, "I have a cell phone, so I don't need to carry x,y,z" doesn't work, is illustrated here.

(Yeah, I'm a Wilderness EMT)

Had this guy been bleeding out help would have been there much sooner. Those helicopters do fly in the dark.

Given that it was a non life-threatening injury they had much more wiggle room and were able to hunker down for the night

Bill O
09-01-2007, 11:17 PM
do you think that the eye was not that bad ,thats why they staid the night .
if it was really bad would they make an attempt to get down or help to get to them ?

Seems strange. Bad enough to dispatch a multi-million dollar military helicopter and land it very close to the summit of the mountain.

I wonder if there's more to this story. On the other hand, helicopter pilots don't sign up for the job to sit in a conference room all day. They do like to get out and practice.

Charlie
09-01-2007, 11:26 PM
maybe they know some one who knows some one who knows some one :D

Breeze
09-02-2007, 08:05 PM
As I understand it, NHANG answers calls like these from NHF&G readily and treats the exercise as " active training time ". It is not billed to patients. Its not about who knows who, its about using and maintaining skills.

I have seen the helos, on occasion, tooling around the northern Presi's, and the readiness level for Resue Missions up there is well maintained. It is what they flight crews would be needed for in overseas operations, so real time training missions are reasonable and a huge gift in situations like this.


This particular party was well equipped to establish camp, and the brother of the victim ( an MD as well) encouraged waiting until daylight to send help. It was NH Fish and Game ( with Mike Pelchat) who made the call for the helo.

I certainly hope Dr. Cress recovers fully!

Breeze

Bill O
09-02-2007, 08:31 PM
As I understand it, NHANG answers calls like these from NHF&G readily and treats the exercise as " active training time ". It is not billed to patients. Its not about who knows who, its about using and maintaining skills.

I have seen the helos, on occasion, tooling around the northern Presi's, and the readiness level for Resue Missions up there is well maintained. It is what they flight crews would be needed for in overseas operations, so real time training missions are reasonable and a huge gift in situations like this.


This particular party was well equipped to establish camp, and the brother of the victim ( an MD as well) encouraged waiting until daylight to send help. It was NH Fish and Game ( with Mike Pelchat) who made the call for the helo.

I certainly hope Dr. Cress recovers fully!

Breeze

Very well said. The media often gets it dead wrong when all they want to know is who is going to pay for the helicopter, amongst other things. They don't seem to grasp the economics of the military and the fact that this is valuable training for war and future rescues.

Breeze
09-02-2007, 09:15 PM
Thanks Bill.

Jefferson is a nasty summit for a carry-out, especially with a head injury and possible C-spine trauma. Can't imagine NHF&G trying to effect a litter rescue down Caps Ridge Trail, not any better down the eastern side. This definitely needed an airlift.

NHANG IS US Military, and they ARE a product of our tax dollars, working hard at home.

It was just about 2 weeks ago that I saw a similar Helo appear out of the Great Gulf area and beat hard for Conway. There had been no rescue call, it was just a readiness training flight. There is a helo pad at The Memorial Hospital in Conway, where Emergency Plans need periodic drills, too, so keeping the training readiness fresh and including the local response teams would be a key mission for the whole community.

Breeze

Bill O
09-02-2007, 09:54 PM
When you say it like that I guess a litter rescue would be hard off Jefferson. I keep thinking of Washington and there are so many options. You can usually take somebody to the summit and there's an escape line (Auto Road) that runs down one side of the mountain.

WEMT
09-02-2007, 11:49 PM
Had this guy been bleeding out help would have been there much sooner. Those helicopters do fly in the dark.

Given that it was a non life-threatening injury they had much more wiggle room and were able to hunker down for the night

Instead of a couple of hours :)

DOT says on the street, a first responder must be on the scene within 10 minutes of dispatch. (Don't always make it, but that's the rule.)

Yes, Bill I understand, but suppose they had not been on (or easily accessible to) a summit... (Just putting in a plug for BE PREPARED)

Maksutov
09-10-2007, 05:28 AM
Thanks Bill.

Jefferson is a nasty summit for a carry-out, especially with a head injury and possible C-spine trauma. Can't imagine NHF&G trying to effect a litter rescue down Caps Ridge Trail, not any better down the eastern side. This definitely needed an airlift....Probably the easiest hiking rescue route would be the Appalachian Trail south to either the cog railway (if they'd cooperate with such an effort) or up to the summit and down the carriage road by vehicle.

Hope the good Dr. is OK.

Accidents happen, even to the most experienced climbers. For example...

The weather folk on the summit advised all persons who had hiked there on July 4, 1990 to depart the summit ASAP, since a cold front with a line of intense thunderstorms was coming in. My hiking partner and I went down the Tucks trail, turned left on the Alpine Garden trail and then over to Lion's Head, figuring this would be the quickest way to get below tree line.

Just before the steep pitch off Lion's Head, a big rock jumped up and bit my right knee. Lots of pain and blood but kept going. The sound of the thunder echoing off the Carter Range was a wonderful experience in stereo surround sound! Real, natural Fourth-of-July fireworks!

We were about 100 yards from the Pinkham Notch camp when the torrent started. A sprint and we were on the porch. There a gal from our party whom we had left in Tucks earlier (she was out of gas and turned back) checked out my knee and did some EMT work on it. Why do patients tend to fall in love with their nurses?

Anyway she did a wonderful job, such that the next day I was able to climb to Square Ledge with her.