The Desert IndependentTM

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Search & Rescue

Helicopter Rescue after Hiker Enters Closed Area

August 31, 2016

FOREST FALLS, Calif – On Saturday, August 27 at about 6:00 p.m., Lea Hernandez (age 35 of Banning) was hiking in an area known as Big Falls in Forest Falls. The area contains large waterfalls and was recently closed by the Forest Service due to numerous hikers becoming injured after falling from the waterfalls. Hernandez and other hikers entered the closed area and began climbing the falls.

Hernandez fell approximately 30 feet from a waterfall to the rocks below. As a result of the fall, Hernandez suffered major injuries. San Bernardino County Fire Department personnel were dispatched to the scene. Based on the initial reports, Sheriff’s Air Rescue 06 was also dispatched.

The crew arrived as medical personnel hiked up to the falls. They determined Hernandez was suffering from major injuries and requested the crew of Air Rescue 06 perform a hoist rescue.

The crew positioned the helicopter over the location, which is a narrow canyon with tall trees. Crew Chief Deputy Steve Miller lowered Air Medic Nurse Stacey Price 130’ to the ground. Hernandez was placed into a litter and hoisted into the helicopter, followed by Air Medic Price.

Hernandez was flown to a nearby trauma center for treatment.

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