SAR Team lends aid to injured backpacker

Date:      June 3, 2015
Subject: Search and Rescue Team Operation

On Sunday, May 31, 2015, at approximately 11:15am, the Mono County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center received a 911 call regarding an injured backpacker near Fern Lake, in Madera County, about 5 miles southwest of Devil’s Postpile.

A couple from Woodside, CA, in the Bay Area, was backpacking from Devil’s Postpile to Fern Lake. While at the creek crossing, at Fern Lake, the husband fell sustaining an injury to his right knee. He was unable to put weight on his knee without a great deal of pain. He called 911 and requested a medical evacuation. The Mono County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue (SAR) Team was dispatched to assist the injured backpacker.

SAR Team members staged at Minaret Vista and ground teams hiked to Fern Lake with a litter and equipment to assist the injured backpacker. The ground teams put in 10 miles round trip in difficult terrain, with downed trees blocking the trail, and a night time stream crossing. The SAR Team located the injured backpacker. An EMT patient assessment determined the backpacker would not be able to walk and was evacuated by litter, arriving at Devil’s Postpile around 11:00pm. The backpacker signed a medical waiver to seek his own medical treatment.

Recently, the Mono County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue (SAR) Team held their annual recruitment. New candidate members were in the field for the first time on this long and difficult evacuation. - Jennifer M. Hansen, Public Information Officer

Click any thumbnail image to view a slideshow