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Search & Rescue

Injured man rescued by helicopter after falling 25 feet in Joshua Tree

March 26, 2017

JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK, Calif – On Saturday, March 25, San Bernardino County Fire Department personnel responded to the Hidden Valley area of Joshua Tree National Park after getting a call about a fall victim. When personnel arrived, they found that Tom Hurgis (age 69 of Jackson Wyoming) had fallen approximately 25 feet while rock climbing. Hurgis came to rest on a rock ledge and was unable to move.

Personnel determined Hurgis would need to be helicopter hoist rescued due to his injuries. San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Air Rescue Helicopter 07 was requested and responded to assist in the rescue.

The crew of Helicopter  Air Rescue 07, Pilot Corporal Michael Gilley, Crew Chief Deputy Steve Miller, Flight Nurse Deputy Allen Francis, Deputy Jim Fagleson and Flight Nurse Wai Li, arrived and prepared for the hoist rescue. Fire Department personnel had climbed up to Hurgis and secured him to the ledge using a rescue basket. The crew hovered over Hurgis and Flight Nurse Li was lowered to the rock ledge. Hurgis was secured to the hoist hook and hoisted into the helicopter, followed by Flight Nurse Li. Hurgis was then flown to a nearby waiting ambulance.

It was determined that Hurgis had non-life threatening injuries and was transported by ground to a local hospital for treatment.

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